A Word for Today | Hebrews 11:5-6
Hebrews 11’s second example comes from the life of Enoch, seventh in the line of Adam and Eve. Enoch is remarkable in that he “was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him” (Heb. 11:5). Enoch is one of only two men – the other is Elijah – who did not die but were taken directly to heaven. What was it about his life that made him so special? The answer is faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb. 11:6).
In his brief appearance in the Bible, we are mainly told that Enoch “walked with God,” and as a result “he was not, for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). To walk with God speaks of a living relationship and companionship between a man or woman and God. It implies agreement of mind and heart. There can hardly be a more beautiful description of the Christian life than this idea. Walking with God is its own destination! We grow in our knowledge of the infinite and divine; and we grow more like Him as God guides us. To be a Christian is to walk with God, to know Him and to live in the light of His presence.
Hebrews’ description of Enoch makes two points about faith. The first is that faith must have a true object: “for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists” (Heb. 11:6). This involves content and doctrine. Faith must identify the God of the Bible, the Lord who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, as the one and true God. Over and over He says, “I am God, and there is no other” (Isa. 46:9). Faith, second, has a motivation: “Anyone who comes to him must believe… that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6). Faith comes to God seeking blessing, favor, and grace. The opposite is to ignore Him, to think that it doesn’t matter what God thinks of us or what He intends for our future. This is what unbelief is all about. Few people deny the existence of God, but many deny God’s relevance and the need to seek Him. This begs a vital question: “Do we have to deal with God? Do we need to pay attention to him, to listen as He speaks and open our heart to a relationship with Him? Should we let God change the way we live and make Him the great hope for the whole of our life? Enoch’s answer would be Yes! Because God does exist and He does bless those who seek after Him, even with the eternal life that Enoch enjoyed. Enoch was spared evening entering the grave, but through faith in Jesus we will gain the blessing of conquering the grave to live in heaven with Him forever. Enoch’s story tells us of a life after death, where God will reward all those who looked to Him in faith through his Son. F. F. Bruce concludes: “The reward desired by those who seek him is the joy of finding him; he himself proves to be their ‘exceeding joy’ (Ps. 43:4).”
 F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1990), 287.