The woman had just returned from a meeting of the National Organization of Women in Denver when her five-year-old greeted her at the door. “Mommy,” she said, “When I grow up, I want to be a nurse.” “A nurse?” her mother said. “Now listen, just because you’re a woman that doesn’t mean you have to be a nurse. You can be a surgeon if you want. You can be a lawyer or a judge. You can even be the President of the United States. You can be anything you want to be!” Her daughter looked dubious. “Anything, Mommy?” “Yes, honey, you can be anything you want to be!” The little girl beamed and said, “Then I want to be a horse.”
We received a graduation announcement the other day. Like most invitations that announce the graduation or “commencement” of a high school senior, this one had a picture of the graduate on the front. But unlike others, it had a message across the top that read, “The World Awaits.” Now, without knowing the young person, do you think that’s true? Do you think the world awaits any graduating high school or college senior? Isn’t it far truer that, in a world of rampant conformity, the world awaits no one, it simply proceeds according to its own set of rules of conformity. If you doubt that, just consider the definition of success that pervades our culture today. Success equals independence, financial stability, and freedom to pursue an insatiable desire for amusement. The truth is – anyone rejecting the mores of popular culture are ignored or relegated to the fringe. This is nothing new, of course; the Bible speaks of it from Genesis through Revelation.
This Sunday is Baccalaureate Sunday at Hebron. At both the 9:15 and 10:45 services we will be recognizing our 2017 high school graduates. At the same time we will be looking at another element of what it means to “flourish” in life. Last week we examined Genesis 1 and 2 and observed what it means to be created in the image and likeness of God. This week we move ahead a few chapters to see what the Lord tells us about enjoying Him. Like many great story tellers (Charles Dickens for one – “the best of times…the worst of times…”), the writer of Genesis uses contrast to make his point. Chapters 4 and 5 are largely a genealogy of Adam. It’s a text littered with names. But remarkably there’s a name that is used twice. Think of it. In the space of fifty verses and two dozen different names, the Holy Spirit directs the author to mention two different people with the same name – Enoch.
There couldn’t be any greater contrast between the first Enoch and the second one. The first Enoch lives his life in total conformity to the culture around him. It’s a culture that his father emulated and Enoch personifies.
The second Enoch couldn’t be more different. He bucks the culture. Instead of walking in step with his prurient interest, the Bible says twice, in the space of three verses, that he walked with God. He didn’t live a conforming life. He lived a transformed life. The more we dig into the second Enoch the more remarkable the insights he provides for every Christian – graduates and post-graduates.
The message this Sunday is entitled, “A Good Walk Unspoiled”. The text is Genesis 4:24 to 5:24. In preparation for Sunday’s message you may wish to consider the following:
- What does the name “Enoch” mean?
- What is the significance of their fathers’ names in relation to their lifestyles?
- How long does Enoch #2 walk with God?
- Drawing on Genesis 5 and Hebrews 11, in what ways did Enoch walk with God?
- What does it mean that “he walked with God and he was not, for the Lord God took him”?
- Who said, “Golf is a good walk spoiled?”
- What other Scriptures come to your mind in understanding what walking with God means?
- What evidence can you find from Jesus’ ministry that confirms the aptness of the walking image in describing the spiritual life?
- In what ways does the question, “How’s your walk?” get to the essence of the Christian life