The Personal God
There was once a man named Enoch, who was the seventh from Adam in the line of Seth. Moses tells us that this man, “… Enoch walked with God, and he was not; for God took him”. (Gen. 5:24) It would later be said of this man: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and was not found, because God translated him ….” (Heb. 11:5) And let me quickly reiterate one point —it was God who took him.
In the story of Adam, (Gen. 3:8&9) God comes walking in the Garden of Eden, searching for Adam. Adam, a perfect man in a perfect paradise, had rebelled against God, and God was compelled to banish Adam and his wife from the earthly Eden (Gen. 3:23&24). In the account of Enoch (Gen. 5:21-24), six generations later, Enoch walks with God in the midst of a perverted and evil world, and God was disposed to take Enoch into the heavenly Eden. No mention is made in the scriptures of Enoch’s wife, and so I think it safe to say that while Eve helped to facilitate her husband’s rebellion, Enoch’s wife did not share in her husband’s walk with God. (Admittedly, there is no way to know for sure whether Enoch’s wife knew God, but I think that had she indeed known Him, there would have been at least a word or two devoted to the subject.)
It is interesting to note that Enoch being the seventh from Adam(Jud. 1:14) actually means that including Adam and Enoch there were seven generations. Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared and Enoch. In this we see the seven days of creation; God for six of them being busied with building and dressing and shaping, and then on the seventh day He rested. Now Adam, being brought forth out of darkness into light was said to be good, but the light that was in him was found to be darkness, and God divided the light from the darkness. I.e. He set the Cherubim at the entrance to Eden that the darkness may not come near unto the light of the Tree of Life. But with the seventh, Enoch, a new day dawns, and for this day there is no end. When God had rested He began walking, and for three-hundred years Enoch walked with Him, so that in the end, when he and God went hand in hand into the heavenly Eden, it could truly be said of him that the Lord God blessed him and sanctified him, and God saw that he was very good.
In no uncertain terms, and without contradiction, no greater thing could be said of a man than that he walked with God.
Later on in the book of Genesis, we are given the story of Abraham(Gen. 12-25). Only a few short verses of the Bible tell us the story of Enoch. Many pages of the scriptures are given over to narrating the life of Abraham (the father of the faithful). And herein lies the proof that God recognizes, and publicly so, those who are faithful. For Sarah, Abraham’s wife and the mother of the faithful, is mentioned not just once but many times in the pages of the sacred scriptures; also being given the high honor of being called the mother of the promised seed, “for in Isaac shall thy seed be called,” so that it can truly be said of Sarah also that she walked with God(Gen. 17:15, Gen. 21: 6, Gen. 21:12, Rom. 4:19, Heb.11:11, etc.).
Abraham would later be called the friend of God(Isa. 41:8). Suffice to say, though Enoch was not mentioned specifically by that title; indeed, God was not ashamed to call Enoch His friend.
I also think it safe to say that there is no greater title that could be given to a human being than to be called the friend of God.
We miss out on the greatest life we could ever live if we seek to have any less of a relationship with God. God wishes to have a personal relationship with us; He created us for that very purpose, and so why do we not acquiesce to His passion.
Many attempt to do the things that God says do, keep the laws that God says keep, and live the way that God says live, simply because it is written in the book, and they feel they will gain something if they do. In other words, their focus is on what they stand to profit or lose, and that focus has nothing to do with love for their God, Father and Creator. In other words, still, they love God in the same way that most love one another —not at all. Their attitude is, “I love you, as long as I stand to gain from doing so,” which, of course, is not love.
The question may be asked as to why God would create human beings. It could also be asked as to why God would give humans the prerogative to obey or disobey Him. Why not just make people only capable of good? Then there would be no possibility of evil in the world; there would be no chance of failure; there would be no chance of death.
First let me answer the question as to why God created us. Let me respond by asking this question: Why do human men and women have a desire to have children? I think the answer to that, at least for most parents, is so that we will have someone to love and to nurture and to care for, and so that, hopefully, that little one will love us back. We have hopes that they will be at least somewhat like us; although, we have aspirations that they will inherit our good qualities and not our bad ones. Throughout our children’s lives, we try with everything in us to protect them and to steer them in all the right directions and veer them away from wrong directions. We do this because we know that if they go in the right directions in life, they will live a happy and fulfilled life; we also know that if they go in the wrong directions, they will be met with misery and heartache.
God created humankind so that He would have someone, like a little child, to love and to nurture and to care for. He created us in His own image and likeness for the purpose that we might one day grow up to be like Him. We will never be God, of course, but the hope is that we will forever be children of God, growing and increasing, and learning more and more to be like Him.
Now for the answer to why God gave humans a choice to obey or disobey Him. Why God gave us the ability to live for Him in righteousness, or to live for ourselves in rebellion. The answer to that is simple. God wanted the love of His children to be true love; not love that springs from necessity, but love that abounds from a truly heartfelt desire. Had He not given us a choice, then we would love Him because we are compelled to, rather than loving Him because we want to.
As a Christian, a Prophet and a man who does love God, I have often been taken to a place in the Spirit where I have felt the broken heart of God for the children who have forgotten and forsaken Him. When He came walking in the garden, asking the question: “Adam, where are you?”(Gen. 3:9) He was not asking as to the physical location of Adam, for in His omniscience He already knew where Adam was. The real question was: “Adam, where have you gone? Why have you left? I love you. Why have you gone away?” God was forced to expel Adam from the Garden; because Adam had chosen to walk in a direction contrary to God’s plan for him. The Judge and Executioner was God, but the guilt for the crime can only be laid at the feet of Adam. Still one can well hear the sadness echo all the way down through history. If one could number the stars of heaven, then one might number the times that those words have come from the heart of a God whose children have almost all gone away. They have left Him behind. Though He loves them, they refuse to love Him.
That is the cry in the wilderness, as it was said of the prophet John the Baptist, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness”(Isa. 40:3, Mat. 3:3). The cry has ever been and ever shall be, until the day that the children of God are taken up out of this present evil world: “I love you. Please come back.” Sadly, most never will come back.
Another interesting note is that the voice was that of John the Baptist, but the one crying in the wilderness is God. This prophecy, as given by Isaiah, had its partial fulfillment in John the Baptist, who came in the spirit of Elijah—Jesus said as much(Mat. 11:10&14). But its total fulfillment will be during the great tribulation when the two faithful witnesses are said to come and prophecy in Jerusalem for three and one-half years, at which point they will be killed by the antichrist, and then three days later, before all the world, they will be raised from the dead. The coming of these two faithful witnesses will be the return of the only two men in history who never died(Zech. 4, Rev. 11:3-12). I.e. Elijah, and Enoch
So often I have heard and read of Christians trying to prove the validity of the Bible and non-Christians trying to prove that the Bible is not valid; still others seem to think that the Bible may be true, while they hold that other philosophies are also possible, but I need not have proof from man, woman or angel that the Bible is truth. I have talked with God; I have heard from God; I have walked with God, and no one can deny the existence of his own friend. Not imagination, not religion, not philosophy, but for we who truly know God there are no doubts, and there is no need of proof. And for those who do not know God, there is no way for us to prove Him to them. They must find Him on their own, or, rather, He must find them. The proof of God is all around us, and it has been all around us for all of history. With David, I can reiterate the statement, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God,” (Psa. 14:1 & 53:1) and I’ll leave it at that.
Just today I was telling someone that when we come to know and understand and believe that God is our own personal friend, more and more there exists an understanding that no matter what happens in our lives, good or bad, we have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear. I have the greatest friend that anyone could ever have, and, as a perfect friend, He will always do what is perfect and right within my life to help me through anything and everything. “If God be for us; who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31)
I guess the greatest question left to answer is, how does one become the friend of God? As God came walking in the Garden, in the cool of the day, searching for the sinner, so also Jesus, a man stricken with grief and acquainted with sorrow, came walking in the wilderness, searching and crying out for the lost. “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”(John 7:37) And again, in another place He said, “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”(Mat. 11:28) The great light that shines in the darkness; the great high priest who atones and pleads for us; the great shepherd who searches for and cares for the lost sheep, and the greatest friend who sticks closer than a brother became us, that we, being once strangers and not sons, might not only walk with the one true God, as a friend, but sit with Him in heavenly places(Eph. 2:6), as a child, learning and growing and increasing in knowledge—that we may be more like Him.
God has already done everything that need be done. Though the fault that barred the way of access to God was the fault of man, it was the son of man, who is the son of God who took the blame upon Himself, as our advocate, and “has broken down the middle wall of partition between us”(Eph. 2:14), reconciling us unto God.
And herein is the goodness and compassion and love of such a friend as He; that when we yet hated Him, and rebelled, and hid ourselves from His goodness, He, knowing that we might one day heed the sound of His voice and return, was willing to give all, paying an unimaginable price, that the way would be forever opened. And for many, as for just one, He counted the cost not too high but said, “No matter how high the price, I am going to pay it.” Now, “whosoever will, let him take the Water of Life freely.”(Rev. 22:17)
I say as for just one, for Jesus, knowing that so many would forever hate Him and reject Him, counted the cost that if even just one would accept and be saved, then even just one was worth dying for. So that I can truly say that Jesus, my friend, gave His life for me.