It is a joy to turn from the “seventh from Adam” in the line of Cain to “the seventh from Adam” in Seth’s line. (Jude 14). By-they-way, have you ever stopped to think why the Holy Spirit, in a Book as brief as Jude, should take the trouble to point out to us the number of generations from Adam to Enoch? Enoch’s history is one that should bring comfort to any Christian parent today. We read, “Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah; and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.” (Genesis 5:21-22.)
Note that there is no record that Enoch walked with God for the sixty-five years before the baby Methuselah arrived on the scene. Apparently it was that little infant that drove Enoch to walk with God.
You may have noticed how selfish most young Christians are, no matter whether married or unmarried. Self, good self, or bad self, generally occupies a large place in their thoughts. “What would I like?” “I don’t want to do that!” How often we heard such expressions! How often we have used them ourselves! But when the children begin to come, we start on a new course of lessons. The baby is fretful, and will not sleep. Mother has had the little one all day, and now it is the father’s turn. Many an hour have I walked the floor with one of you in my arms, when I would fain have been asleep in my warm and cozy bed. Happy are the parents who can walk with God as they walk the floor with a crying, restless infant. They will find those dreaded night watches turned into heavenly communing, with their best and dearest Friend. The silent house, when everybody is asleep, will be found to be just the place where your Lord and you can walk together undisturbed.
And as the baby, (as each of you have done in turn), comes down to the brink of that cold, dark river, and that little life, that had grown dearer to you than your own, seems about to slip away, you learn one of the deepest lessons that this life can teach, to say in very truth, “Thy will be done!”
But a book might be written of the lessons we learn from our little darlings, with those tender little hands, whose very touch grows to mean so much to our hearts, or those stubborn wills that set themselves in defiance against our authority.
We cannot speak more of such lessons, only a parent knows and understands them, and I suppose only a parent can understand truly the story of Enoch. It seems to have been written specially for us parents, and may we each one find, as Enoch found, that our little darlings lead us, or drive us, to walk with God, and in this wondrous companionship may we find strength and comfort for the parents’ path.
That little babe who seems to have been the means of causing his father to walk with God must have watched that loved parent day by day in his walk. He must have heard him utter those solemn prophecies of judgment to come, recorded for us thousands of years later by Jude; and his own name Methuselah means, “When he is dead it shall be sent”. All this must have given him very different hopes and ambitions to those of his cousins, the children of Lamech.
“What’s in a name?” has become a proverb in our day; but how much there was wrapped up in the name of Enoch’s son, to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear. For three hundred years he watched his father’s consistent walk, until “he was not, for God took him:” “took him” without seeing death, as we learn in Hebrews 11. But Methuselah lived on down here, and he knew that as long as he lived the judgment could not fall. His own son Lamech was born and lived 777 years (very different to the man in the Book of the Bible whose number is 666) and he died, but Methuselah his father lived on for another five years. He watched his grandson Noah (meaning “Comfort”) through 600 years of life, he heard the solemn announcement of the judgment, and saw the ark being prepared to the saving of the lives of the whole household of his grandson, before at last he, the oldest man who ever lived, passed from this scene and prepared the way for the judgment to come. The 969 years of Methuselah’s life are a mighty voice crying aloud to those who have ears to hear, telling us of God’s patience and longsuffering; that judgment is His strange work, but proclaiming with equal clearness and precision the certainty of judgment to come.
Contrast for a moment the homes of these two patriarchs; each seventh from Adam, the one breathed the air of earth, the other the atmosphere of Heaven. The one was guilty of murder; the other never tasted death.
We parents may well covet for ourselves a life such as that of Enoch as an example to set before our children. There can be nothing that will more powerfully separate them from this world lying under its impending doom, than such a life as this.
Though my pen has run far beyond what I had intended to say of Enoch, I should like to include the following lines that link together these three Patriarchs, Enoch, Methuselah and Noah.