The Ultimate Original. In the opening verse of Genesis 5 we’re reminded that God is the creator who made man in His likeness (vs.1). Shortly thereafter we’re told that Adam bore a son in his own likeness, after his image (vs.3). Within three verses we can already see the pattern of derivative-likenesses (God-to-Adam and Adam-to-Seth), but the fountainhead of ‘image giving’ is God. His image and likeness was not derived; it eternally was. For all eternity the Father enjoyed beholding the express image of His person in His Son. And on the sixth day of creation the Godhead commenced with the plan, “Let us make man in our image…” That image, though marred by sin (hence the derivative likeness between Adam and Seth), remains (cf. Jas 3:9). And since the times of Genesis 5, millions and millions of people have walked this earth, all in some way reflecting the image of the ultimate original.
A Just Punisher of Sin. At first glance, upon reading verses 5 through 31, we might think that a series of names and a brief description of years lived would not have anything to do with displaying an attribute of God, but I believe it does. All of the names listed have something in common with the exception of Enoch – each person is said to have died. Over and over again that fact is repeated (vs. 5,8,14,17,20,27,31) driving home the point – this is the result of sin. Though by our standards those early generations lived long lives, when compared to living indefinitely (the state of man’s existence without sin), even 900 years isn’t much. It reminds us that God is just because death is the result of sin (Rom. 6:23).
A Lover of Faith. Enoch’s mention in Genesis 5 is mysterious. We’re told twice that he walked with God (vs.22, 24), but at the age of 365, after walking in fellowship with God for 300 years, we’re told that God took him (vs.24b). The writer of Hebrews made it clear that Enoch did not see death (Heb. 11:5); he was simply raptured, or taken, from earth into God’s presence. But that’s not all we’re told about him. The writer of Hebrews tells us that he had this testimony – “that he pleased God” (vs.5b). Then, if we’re wondering how Enoch pleased God, the answer comes in the following verse: “without faith it is impossible to please God…” (vs.6). When we put both of those passages together (the ones from Genesis and Hebrews) we can see that our God, while still the giver of faith, is One who loves the display and exercise of it. He gave it to Enoch; Enoch displayed it; God loved it; and took him into His presence.
Still Relational. When we read about Enoch we can get so caught up in his ‘getting caught up’ that we can miss marveling at what we are twice told: “Enoch walked with God” (vs.22b,24b). If Genesis 3:15 is the primary ‘relief giver’ in these opening chapters, I’d say these verses deserve to be right behind it. This would have been news worthy of shouting to every living descendant of Adam – God still walks with man! Communion didn’t end in the garden. Yes, God walked with Adam and Eve in Eden. Yes, that communion was ruptured by sin. But, no, Adam’s posterity was not indefinitely severed from walking with God while on earth. You might say – Enoch’s intimacy is a reminder of our opportunity. God is still relational. To put the opportunity in the form of a New Testament imperative: “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Col. 2:6).