[Lesson 11: Unrepentant Cain] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 13: The Prophet Noah: God's Patience & Wrath]

Lesson 12

The Prophet Enoch

Genesis 4, 5

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

In our last two programs, we learned about the first two sons of Adam and Eve: Cain and Abel. We saw how both of them presented to God a sacrifice in order to worship Him. Abel believed God and brought the blood of a lamb, but Cain tried to approach God through his own efforts. God accepted Abel's sacrifice, but He rejected Cain's sacrifice. God called on Cain to repent, but Cain only got angry and killed his brother Abel.

Today we plan to continue in the Torah and study chapters four and five of the book of Genesis. The Word of God tells us that Adam and Eve "had other sons and daughters." (Gen. 5:4) However, among the descendants of Adam, God has only made known to us the stories of two family lines: the family line of Cain and the family line of Seth, one of Cain's younger brothers.

We will first look at the family line of Cain. Cain chose a wife from among his relatives and they had children. However, just as "the leaping gazelle doesn't produce burrowing offspring" {Wolof proverb}, neither did Cain's offspring escape their father's way of thinking and speaking and acting. Like their father, they did not respect God's Word. They had great knowledge and intelligence, but did not know God. They only valued earthly things. They built a city, made tools, flutes and harps and things like that. One of those who descended from Cain was called Tubal-Cain. He was ingenious and forged bronze and iron. However, beautiful handwork does not make a beautiful heart!

One of Cain's descendants, named Lamech, was the seventh generation after Adam. Lamech walked in the footsteps of his ancestor Cain--except he was even worse. Lamech was the first to take two wives and, like Cain, he became a murderer. The Scriptures say that Lamech murdered two people and then boasted that he was more wicked than Cain! Like Cain and all his descendants, Lamech didn't care about the will of God. Lamech was selfish and loved money. He was proud and conceited. He was a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God. Satan was his master, but he didn't realize it. Lamech was like this because he chose to follow the way of Cain. Let us keep the name of Lamech in our minds, because we will be coming back to him before we finish our lesson today.

Praise God, the Scriptures do not stop with the story of Cain and his unrighteous descendants. The Word also tells us about the family line of Seth, saying that God gave Adam and Eve another son "in place of Abel, since Cain killed him." (Gen. 4:25) His name was Seth. Seth means chosen. God chose Seth to replace Abel. Why did Seth have to replace Abel? Here is the answer. In the Garden of Paradise (Eden), God had promised One who would come into the world to defeat Satan and deliver the descendants of Adam from his power. That Savior could have come through the family line of Abel who believed God. However, Satan led Cain to kill Abel. Satan wanted to hinder God's plan to send the Savior into the world. However, God's wisdom is greater than Satan's. God had a marvelous plan to deliver the children of Adam from their sins and no one could hinder it, not even Satan! Therefore, God, in keeping with His plan, gave Seth to Adam and Eve, to replace Abel, whom Cain had killed. Thus, God's plan concerning the Redeemer continued to advance.

Seth was a true believer. Like Abel, his older brother, Seth chose the way of salvation which God had established. Seth, like all of Adam's offspring, was born in sin. However, he believed what God had promised concerning the Savior who was to come and he manifested his faith by bringing before God the blood of a lamb, as a sacrifice to cover sins. Another noteworthy thing concerning Seth was that he raised his children in the knowledge of the truth of God. Therefore the Scriptures say: "Seth had a son, and …at that time men began to call on the name of the Lord." (Gen. 4:26)

Thus, we see two family lines that came forth from Adam: the line of Cain and the line of Seth. Do you know what those two lines illustrate? They illustrate the two kinds of people that have been in the world from Adam's time until today. In God's eyes, there are only two kinds of people on earth. He sees no distinction between those with black skin and those with white, nor between Wolof and Sereer {two ethnic groups in Senegal}, men and women, rich and poor. God is not prejudiced; nonetheless, He separates the people of the world into two distinct groups. What are these two groups of people? They are those who believe the Word of God, and those who do not believe it; those who know God and those who do not know Him; those who walk in the light and those who walk in darkness; those who are forgiven of their sins and those who are not forgiven. Everyone who believes God and chooses the way of righteous which He has established, will be saved (and go to heaven), just as Seth and his family were saved. Whoever does not take God's way of righteousness will perish (and go to hell), just as Cain and his family perished.

The Scriptures say that Adam lived until he was 930 years old and then he died. In those early times, men lived until they were extremely old--but they died as all men die. Adam and Eve died, just as God had said they would. When God created the first two people, it was not His will that they should die, but that they should live. Why then did Adam and Eve die? Because they sinned against God--and sin produces death.

Now then, in the time remaining, we will look at the story of a man of God, who was in the family line of Seth, who believed God. This man is Enoch …the prophet of God, Enoch. Some know him as "Idris" {Qur'anic name}. In the fifth chapter of Genesis, we see the ancestry of Enoch. The Scriptures say: Adam became the father of Seth; Seth became the father of Enosh; Enosh became the father of Kenan; Kenan became the father of Mahalalel; Mahalalel became the father of Jared; Jared became the father of Enoch. Thus, Enoch was the seventh generation after Adam in the line of Seth.

Like all men, Enoch was a born sinner. However, when he was 65 years of age, Enoch repented of his sins, turned to God, and believed what God promised concerning the Redeemer who was to come into the world to die as the Perfect Sacrifice that takes away sin. Enoch showed his faith by offering to God the blood of an animal as a sacrifice that covers sin. Consequently, God credited Enoch's faith to Him as righteousness, forgave him his sins, and purified his heart. Thus, the Scriptures say: "Enoch walked with God for 300 years." (Gen. 5:22)

However, to walk with God in Enoch's day was not easy, because it was a corrupt and wicked period, much like the present day. Most of those living in Enoch's time sought only after pleasure and lived lives of impurity. As for Enoch, he knew that God had not created man to live in impurity, but in holiness. Therefore, Enoch did not allow covetousness to control him, as it did his neighbors who did not know God. Like God Himself, Enoch loved righteousness and hated iniquity. People insulted him and persecuted him because of his righteous lifestyle, but Enoch didn't let it bother him, because he knew that nothing is more important than to have peace with God.

God chose Enoch to be His servant and His prophet during that evil period. Like all prophets, Enoch testified about the Redeemer who was to come. He also announced that the Redeemer would one day return to punish all those who refused to repent and believe in Him. Listen to the preaching of Enoch:

"See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of His holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against Him!" (Jude 1:14,15)

One more amazing thing that we need to know about the prophet Enoch is that he did not die. That's right. The Word of God tells us that Enoch did not die! It says: "Enoch walked with God for 300 years and then he was no more, for God took him." (Gen. 5:24) God, in His power and His plan, translated Enoch directly to heaven, without making him go through the door of death.

Why did God translate Enoch in that way? Through the life of Enoch, God wants to teach us what He thinks of those who truly believe Him and seek to please Him in all things. The Scriptures say:

"By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Heb. 11:5,6)

For three hundred years, Enoch pleased God, because he believed Him, loved Him and obeyed Him during a time in which most people didn't care about what God wanted. Thus, one day God called his name; instantly, Enoch found Himself in Paradise, in the glory of the house of God forever! In this, there is something very important which God wants to show us. It is this: If you do not have faith like Enoch, you will never please God! However, if you have faith like Enoch, God will count you as righteous, and you need no longer fear death. You can know that God has conquered death for you, because if you listen to the Word of God and believe it, when your life on earth is over, you will go to live in the presence of the Lord forever, just like Enoch! However, you must come to understand and believe what God has said concerning the righteous way of salvation that He has provided for sinners.

To summarize our study, we would like to make a few comparisons between the two descendants of Adam we have read about today: Lamech and Enoch.

Both Lamech and Enoch belonged to the seventh generation after Adam. Lamech descended through the line of Cain, and Enoch descended through the line of Seth. Lamech and Enoch shared the same generation (era), but they did not share the same interests. Their way of life was totally different, like night from day.

Lamech did not believe God and His word, but Enoch believed God and loved His word.

Lamech walked with Satan in impurity, whereas Enoch walked with God in holiness.

Lamech ignored the way of salvation decreed by God, while Enoch cherished it and brought to God the blood of a lamb to cover his sins.

Lamech craved money, women, food, clothes and pleasure, whereas Enoch desired a life of close fellowship with the One who had given him life.

Lamech died in his sins and went down to hell, but God took Enoch up to be with Himself in heaven.

In closing, here is an important question: Are you most like Lamech or Enoch? Do you belong to the people of Cain and Lamech or the people of Seth and Enoch? Does your life embrace the faith of Enoch, or are you going your own way like Lamech? God's Word says: "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith" …because "without faith (in God and His Word) it is impossible to please God!" (2 Cor. 13:5; Heb. 11:6)

Friends, this is where we must stop today. Next time, in the will of God, we will begin to study another one of God's prophets-the prophet Noah….

God bless you as you earnestly consider this verse from His holy Word:

"Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Heb. 11:6)