Enoch walking on Cloud 9!

19 02 2017

pappa-1                  I remember when I was a pre-teen and my grandfather used to visit us that he would love for me to join him as he went on his morning walks.  Normally it was mid morning, and he was always dressed in a suit jacket (open collar), and his hat and a walking cane!  This was the stylish thing to do, to carry a walking cane, and swing it with a special style!

I also liked to walk with him, because his pockets always contained candy which he would give to the neighbor kids, who would always come and talk to him.  I don’t remember any of the conversations I had with him, but I was just happy that he asked me to go with him on his walks.

I was reminded of this because as we read of Enoch in the Bible not much is said of Enoch, but what is said of him says much that we could heed for a relationship with God!

Enoch we find is in the lineage drawn between “Joseph the Carpenter” (remember him?) and Adam the first man, that God created!  He lived a total of 365 years which was “chicken feed” compared to his father Jared who lived 962 years, and Methuselah his son, recorded to be the oldest living person at 969 years!

But it says that “Enoch walked with God” (Genesis 5:22) and that “he pleased God” (Hebrews 11: 5)!   This is what drew me to Enoch!  We all desire to walk with God and to please God, especially if the end result is the same as of Enoch, because we find that it says, when Enoch walked with God and he was not, because God took him (5:24)

We see from the beginning that God liked to walk with his people.  It seems from Genesis 3, that everyday God would come and walk in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.  And here he walks with Enoch!  Oh how I would love to take a walk with God in the cool of the evening, or the morning!  But, maybe it is possible!

I see them have some animated conversations about all the beauty that surrounded them, the things which God said “was good” when he created them, including the people!  I see Enoch walking on Cloud 9 for this privilege, because Hebrews 11:5 says, ‘he pleased God’.  Why does the term, “Lord of the Dance” keep popping in my head?  Is it because I see children break out into impromptu moments of dance, when they are happy?  Was Enoch like this when he was walking with God?

There was another thought about Enoch from Hebrews 11: 5 and 6, which I had not seen before.  Verse 6 always stood apart to me, but here I see that as it follows verse 5 and it connects to the mention that Enoch pleased God.  How did he do it?

Hebrews 11: 5-6 gives us the answer. By faith.  Faith in what?

1.  That He exists

2.  That He cares enough to respond to those who seek him.

So what was Enoch doing?  He believed God, and I guess he had a personal relationship with God and walked with God.

And finally I was seeing Enoch in Jude 1: 14-16 coming back with Jesus and a thousand angels in the last days… just like he was taken away!  Two people had this experience of been taken away by God, without seeing death, Elijah (2 Kings Chapter 1) and Enoch in (Genesis 5).  (Side note:  It helps to have your name start with the letter “E” if you want to experience “translation”!!!!  Just kidding.)

                     Yes, we can walk with God because he wants to walk with us, and yes we can please God, because all we need to know and believe is that God exists and that He cares to respond to me if I seek Him?

 

 





And God Chose: Joseph the Carpenter!

1 02 2017

Christmas 2016 seemed like a joseph-the-carpenterreminder from every side of the life of Joseph, the Carpenter.  The sermons that I heard, the songs we sang all seemed to highlight this Carpenter from Nazareth who we know very little about, but seems to in reality, have a vital part to play in the life and ministry of Jesus!

It was beckoning me to look and study a person, who might be relegated to a back seat in the story, but looms large in the economy of God!  I am almost tempted to feel, that this could be a project for a book to walk in Joseph’s shoes and see his life and the impact that he had on Jesus, and to realize, that even though we might be “anonymous”, that in God’s eyes, our faithfulness is a vital ingredient in God’s Kingdom, to accomplish the task of His work and ministry!

So let’s go meet Joseph the Carpenter!

Since we do not know him too well, let’s sit around and fire some questions at him and try and get some ideas as to who he is.

  •  Joseph you grew up in the town of Nazareth and it is reported that there was a Roman garrison (an army base) in town. What was it like to have the enemy living in your town?  What kind of feelings and emotions and questions did you and your neighbors and relatives have towards them?
  • Since you are known as Joseph the Carpenter, we have to presume that this is a trade you learned as a child/ young man from your father, and you inherited or grew into the family business. Since it was a fairly large town, did you have a prosperous business?  You must have been quite a good carpenter to be known as “the carpenter”!
  • Can you tell us your thoughts about you and Mary? She must have been a very pretty girl?  We don’t know too much about either one of your parents.  Were they all good friends?  Did they arrange your marriage?
  • You must have loved Mary a lot, for you to decide to break the wedding plans, quietly and not openly disgrace her. Did you somehow have the feeling, that maybe what she was saying to you about her conception was true?
  • Were you a religious person, Joseph? Why would God have chosen you to be the earthly father of Jesus?  Sounds like a big responsibility?  God must have been working a lot in your life from your young days, and you were obedient to His voice.
  • When Jesus was a kid in your home, and as he grew to be a teen and then as a young adult, you were his role model. What were some things you did with him?  We know that you when on your trips up to Jerusalem with Him as we see in Luke 2: 41-52.  We also see that you taught him the trade of being a carpenter.  He must have been very precise and meticulous in his work in the carpentry shop!
  • Would you mind telling us a little bit about your trip to Bethlehem, when Mary was pregnant and you were ordered to travel for the Census.
  1. Did you carry many supplies when you were traveling? I am sure that you wanted to provide for Mary as much as possible for her comfort?
  2. What were your thoughts when you had to have the baby in a manger, because there was no other room available? Did you have some troubling thoughts as to God’s Provisions, when you could not even give the basic necessities for Jesus to be born?
  3. What were your feelings when the Shepherds came looking for Jesus, and the Story that they were relating?
  4. Looks like you found a place to live in Bethlehem, and you must have supported your young family with some odd jobs when the “wise men/magi” came to see Jesus. This must have given you some assurance that this was truly from God.
  5. I see that, God seems to speak to you in dreams. You must have grown up to learn things this way as a young person, that you were confident in them.
  6. Eight days after Jesus was born, you and Mary, took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem, to dedicate him to God. There you met Anna and then Simeon, two godly people who prophesied over Jesus and Mary.  Could you fill in some details on this trip?
  • So after the Wise Men came and left, you had a dream and then you had to get up and become Refugees in Egypt, so that you could protect Jesus from the hand of the cruel King Herod. What kept you assured that God was still working in your life?  Are there some specific verses of scripture that gave you assurance of your safety and of God’s care and protection over you?
  • Another story that we see you in is when you went to Jerusalem with Mary and Jesus when Jesus was twelve years old.
  1. You must have been very worried when you found out He was missing.
  2. Yes, he was the eldest in your family (even though he was not your own)! You had a special responsibility to guard and protect him.
  3. What were some of your thoughts, when and till you found Him?
  4. How did Jesus’ comments to you and Mary about being about His Father’s business affect you?
  5. Did your conversation with Jesus in the carpentry shop and around the house take on a different meaning from that time on?
  • To end our conversation with you, I have a fun question to ask you. Listening to Jesus’ teachings and conversations, it feels like you taught him to love and enjoy life. He had a good sense of humor, and I have a sneaky suspicion, that He learned it from you?  Any special stories that you have from his young days that stand out in your  mind?

God chose Joseph because he saw that Joseph could be trusted to be the earthly father of Jesus!  God has chosen you to be “who you are” and to live to your full potential, right where you are!  YOU ARE CHOSEN BY GOD for “such a time as this”!