To read today’s portion of scripture, you can purchase The One Year Bible or find the following in your Bible:
Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”Genesis 5:21-24
I have always loved this portion of Scripture, contained in the genealogy of Adam, because of what you have to read between the lines, and the promise you come away with after you do.
We read that Enoch was 65 when he had Methuselah, and only after that did he begin walking with God. Now, granted, 65 years out of 365 is still pretty early in life, but don’t you find it encouraging to see that it’s never too late to start a relationship with God?
The statistics are stark, according to George Barna. In a survey his research group conducted, it was discovered that almost half the people who have a relationship with Jesus began it by age 13. (As an aside, doesn’t that make you eye your children’s ministry differently? It’s not babysitting; it’s discipleship. Ours is called “Mission: Next Generation” precisely for this reason. We want to pass the church on to those coming up behind us.) If a person is not introduced to Christ before age 13, the chance that he or she will eventually turn to Him as their Savior drops off significantly. Two-thirds of all born-again Christians came to Christ before the age of 18. Between the ages of 19 and 21, only one person in 8 will give their lives to Jesus.
Another survey conducted by the International Bible Society said the number of Christians who came to Jesus between the ages of 4 and 14 was 83%. That’s an enormous slice of the pie. Like the Barna study, theirs showed a dramatic drop after that. It is thought that after age 19, only 6% of people are likely to become Christians.
But God …
Like so many things, those two words make all the difference. Enoch was a father — and a 65-year old father, at that — before he looked up and saw, with spiritual eyes, the true God. That means he had 65 years of bad living behind him. We don’t have to know Enoch personally to know that. Romans tells us clearly that before we took God in and accepted His cleansing forgiveness and His Holy Spirit began to indwell us and direct our lives, we were all slaves to sin. Enoch included. He might have been a nice guy, but he wasn’t a holy guy.
And then he was. All because our God is the God of “never too late.” Once Enoch took God’s hand and set off for a walk, he never let go. And one day, God just pulled him right up to heaven.
How about you? Are you an Enoch, or maybe a She-noch? Do you look back on a dry, parched life and think you’ll die out there on that hopeless desert? Or have you known God, but then slowly shut your eyes to His goodness, and wandered off to a place you shouldn’t have wandered?
It’s not too late. That’s a promise from Genesis 5.