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A Journey through the book of Genesiswith Willow Creek Community Church

Read Genesis

Week 1/Day 5: Walking with God

Willow Creek Community Church

Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. 

~ Genesis 5:24

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Genesis 5 contains a genealogy that frequently strikes readers as dry and monotonous. Over and over again, ten times in fact, this genealogy describes the lives of individuals in the same, seemingly boring, way. A person lived, they had children, their life continued, and then they died. As monotonous as this repetition seems to us, the redundancy actually helps illuminate the one person in the entire genealogy who is described differently. In the seventh generation, about three quarters of the way through the genealogy, someone stands out. Enoch is uniquely described as someone who “walked faithfully with God” and then “was no more.”

This description of Enoch is both brief and mysterious. It leaves us wondering what it means to walk with God. Did Enoch literally walk beside God or is this phrase more symbolic? If we look at how this phrase is used elsewhere in Genesis and throughout Scripture, we gain some clarity. 

First, walking with God means living a life characterized by doing whatever God commands. The very next story in Genesis is about a man named Noah who, like Enoch, “walked faithfully with God” (Genesis 6:9). The constant theme throughout Noah’s story is that he did whatever God “commanded him” (Genesis 6:22; 7:5, 9, 16). Noah lived out what walking faithfully with God looks like by being obedient to whatever God commanded.

Second, if we look further in Scripture, this same word is used to describe God’s relationship with His people. In Leviticus 26:12, God says, “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” Walking faithfully with God does not only mean doing whatever God commands, but also requires having a relationship with Him. This is what Jesus invites us into when He asks us to follow Him or, in other words, to walk faithfully with Him. He wants us to live in relationship with Him and to live a life of obedience.


GENESIS 5–6:4

5

From Adam to Noah

1 This is the written account of Adam’s family line.

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.

3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. 7 After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.

12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died.

15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died.

18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

6

Wickedness in the World

1 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days — nd also afterward — hen the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.


Exploring the Text

1. Genealogies included throughout the Bible were important in ancient times. Today we read the first genealogy of Adam in Scripture. Why do you think genealogies were so important to the ancient writers and readers of the text? 

2. In Genesis 5:1, we are reminded that God created mankind in the likeness of God. Then in Genesis 5:3, we are told that this same “image” and “likeness” are transferred to Seth. In light of “the Fall” of humankind in Genesis 3, why is it important for us to be reminded that Seth also received God’s image?

Reflection Question

3. “Walking with God” suggests living a life following God’s will while experiencing fellowship with Him. Our God isn’t a distant God. We were created to be in communion with Him, to have a personal relationship with Him. Think about the closest, best relationship in your life. What makes that relationship a close one? What makes it a great relationship? Considering that, how does your relationship with God compare? Is there anything you might need to do differently to have a closer relationship with God?