King's Business - 1948-08

Another Moving Message in the "Minor Bible Characters" Series by Vance Havner

I QUESTION whether Enoch should ever be listed among “minor” Bible characters. Aside from the folly of labeling men either “major” or “minor,” a man who walks with God is no lesser light. Enoch occupies a small space in the divine record only in that very little is said about him. But how eloquent is that citation: he “walked with God!” We do not know the details. We do not know how he went about it. Evidently he lived in a day when it wasn’t being done. But he did it. And he headed a line of worthies down through the ages who really made it their chief end to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. Like Abraham, Enoch was a friend of God. We have never had a superabundance of such characters, but there have always been a few. There are in the loud storming tide Of this world’s care and crime With whom the melodies abide Of the everlasting chime, Who carry music in their heart Through dusky lane and wrangling mart, Who ply their daily task with busier feet Because their secret souls a holier strain repeat. Most of us read about it, sing of it, sigh for it. But Enoch did it. And he, like those who follow in his train, haunts us with the challenge of walking with God. Said McCheyne, “Men return again and again to the few who have mastered the spiritual secret, whose life has been hid with Christ in God. These are of the old time religion, hung to the nails of the Cross.” The school of Enoch has persisted through the centuries. Wherever one has gone far in that school, men turn to him to learn the secret. There have always been a few souls in every gen­ eration who have caught “the song of saints on higher ground,” and who have resolved, to cross Jordan and dwell in Canaan land. Some of them went far­ ther than most of us can follow. Some may even have gone too far. But surely God will deal more patiently with that soul who overdid in his zeal to have heaven’s best than with those who pi­ ously sing, “ He walks with me and He talks with me,” while they make no serious effort to walk with the Lord in the light of His Word. In the last generation there were a number of Enochs. Take those two, A. J. Gordon and A. B. Simpson. As I read their biographies, I felt in my heart no “ desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay! Though some may dwell where these abound,” I know that one need not dwell there. These saints fired my “ prayer and aim” for “higher ground.” Enoch breaks the monotony of the A U G U S T , 1 9 4 8

Genesis account of Adam and Seth and Enos and Cainan and Mahalaleel and Jared who lived and begat sons and daughters, and died. That is all you read here of Enoch’s forebears. Then he comes along and walks with God! Any man who keeps company with the Most High shatters the dull sameness of existence. Do not most people today resemble the ancestors of Enoch in liv­ ing, begetting sons and daughters and dying? Is not life for most of humanity just about that and nothing more?

Enoch met God before he walked with Him. That is evident. So must you and I. There is a Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus. He that hath seen Him hath seen the Fa­ ther. One may admire a work of art and not know the artist. Men may revel in the glories of nature and won­ der at the Master Artist, but knowing the art of God is one thing and know­ ing the heart of God is another. Walking with God as Enoch did is a blood-bought privilege that lies through an open grave and a rent veil. Be not confused with that fleshly mysticism of philosophers who prate of “meeting God” here and there but who have not met Him in Christ. Some of their talk has a pious ring, by which unstable souls are be­ guiled, but no one walks after the man­ ner of Enoch without meeting God in the Holy of Holies that,opened in Cal­ vary’s darkest hour. Enoch did not take a step: he took a walk. Some dear souls specialize in tak­ ing a step or making a stand at this meeting or that. But they do not fol­ low the step with , another step until it becomes a walk. Fellowship with God is a walk. Everything does not break upon us at the first step. However pre­ cious our first meeting with a friend or lover, it takes the day-by-day compan­ ionship to get to know each other. Do not expect to know God as Enoch did by any isolated experience, however pre­ cious. “ Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” If we are to walk worthy of our vocation, there must be trust and submission and yielding and obedience. Too many Emmaus disciples walk with a veiled Christ, and know Him not until they invite Him in as a guest so that He may preside as host. Hebrews tells us that Enoch pleased God. How? “With­ out faith it is impossible to please him: 'fo r he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” What pleases God most is not our doing many things for Him but just trusting Him. He seeks not our gifts, but us. We must seek not God’s gifts, but Himself. Do we love Him for Himself, or for what He does for us? If He with­ drew this or that, took our health or work or loved ones, would we still re­ joice in Him? Could we stand with Habakkuk in adversity, and say “Amen” to his “Although” and “Yet” ? Now Thee alone I seek; Give what is best. Enoch delighted himself in God. He walked with God. There was no break in that communion. “He was not; for God took him.” And they are still walk­ ing together. Page Fifteen

Not By The Staff

"Thy rod and thy staff thay comfort me"—Psalm 23:4. 1 I IS easy, Lord, to love Thy will * When sorrow drives me close to Thee; As chastened and repentant child Finds comfort at his mother's knee. D U T when the days are full of song, When friends are true, and life is sweet, I seek my foolish heart's desire Not always at Thy blessed feet. D ECA LL me in these brighter days, ‘ ' When blue the skies above me bend, Lest I forget that on Thy smile All peace and happiness depend. k IO T by the staff alone, my Lord, ‘ N To guide Thy child into Thy way, But use the rod, if need there' be To make my wand'ring feet obey. S O comfort me in joy and grief By gentle staff and sharper rod, That I may wholly be Thine own As Christ is wholly Thine, O God. Even the gay set that fancies itself so colorful is but a drab crowd after all, with its tinsel trinkets and hollow baubles and its laughter like the crack­ ling of thorns under a pot. Only the man who knows God really lives. He may reside in a lowly cottage and never crash the headlines, but if he has companied with the Almighty, he has lived while his godless contemporaries have trod the treadmill. When Enoch finished his walk, he “never saw death because he ever saw God.” —Betty Bruechert

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