By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Hebrews 11:5, NKJV)
Each day we live, we write another chapter of who we are for the world to read. At life’s end, these chapters are condensed down to just a few words on stone — or sometimes just two dates with a dash.
Walk the paths of an old cemetery, and the epitaphs written on its tombstones offer a glimpse into the life of someone we may have never met. Some are sentimental or humorous; others reveal the character of the person. For example, a grave in Lemmington, England, is carved with these words: “Here lies a miser who lived for himself, who cared for nothing but gathering wealth. Now where he is and how he fares; nobody knows and nobody cares.”
The marker for Sitting Bull reads only, “Chief of the Hunkpapa Sioux.” We learn nothing of his character, only his position in life. The monument of Marshall Field, who rose from clerk to department store owner, reads, “Equity—Integrity.” Even if we knew nothing about him before, we would feel he was an honorable man.
The Bible tells of a man with no grave to mark. No words carved in stone commemorated Enoch’s life for he did not die. Only a few verses in Scripture even mention him. Tracing the generations from Adam we learn he was the great-grandfather of Noah (Genesis 5:21-29). Verse 24 summarizes his life in just a few words: “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him.” This leads us to believe that Enoch maintained a deep relationship with God—a consistent, dedicated walk.
The Bible remains silent on many facets of Enoch’s life. We do not know the size of his house, if he held a prestigious job, or his level of education. We don’t know if he belonged to any exclusive clubs or rubbed shoulders with the rich and the famous of his day. All of the things by which we judge success today are left out of his story.
While the Bible provides few details about Enoch’s life, we find him listed among those heroes of faith in Hebrews 11. Verse 5 states why. “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death . . . for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” What greater words could be spoken of a person?
If we, like Enoch, have learned to really walk with God and stay in fellowship with Him, our testimony may also be, “She pleased God.”