Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. Gen 5:24
Have you ever heard someone say, “The Lord took my uncle Wilbur,” or something like that? What does that mean? People who say that usually mean that they think the Lord caused someone to die so that He could take them to heaven. Sometimes people say it in such a way as to accuse God of taking someone away from them. Like the song we hear: ‘O, where, O, where, could my baby be? The Lord took her away from me.’
Does the Lord do such a thing!?? No!
There is one place in the bible, that I can recall, where the bible say that the Lord took someone to heaven before they lived their full life and that is in our above passage, “Enoch walked with God, and was no more, because God took him,” (Gen 5:24).
But here’s thing thing: Enoch didn’t die. Look at what the bible says about Enoch in Hebrews 11:5:
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
So forever God sets the precedent of how He will take people (if He ever does) before their time. He can do the same as He did for Enoch – transport then straight to heaven, if you will. He doesn’t need to strike them dead to take them to heaven. Why would He have to do that???
The reason I say all this is because people have such a mixed up view about God and His character. Many people think that God is just randomly taking people out by smashing them up in car accidents or causing their heart to fail or something; or that He is doing this for some eternal purpose that we will never know about until we go up yonder. What a bunch of garbage! It’s not true!
God wants you to live a long and happy life on the earth. Jesus said:
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. Jn 10:10
And look what God says in Psalm 91:16
I will satisfy them with a long life and give them my salvation.
How many years constitutes long life? Well, David wrote this Psalm and he lived into his 70’s. So somewhere between 70 and 100, I’d say, is long life.
So why do people die young, even good people, when it’s the Lord’s will for us to live a long life? Well, the answer is a bit complicated, but I will try to sum it up briefly.
The nutshell answer is because of sin. To explain that is to understand the nature of sin and to understand how God’s system of the government of mankind is set up.
Sin effects mankind in two ways:
Number 1: sin’s natural affects
Number 2: God’s judgment
Sin naturally affects us in many ways. For example, if you sin against your own body by refusing to feed your body in a healthy way then the Lord doesn’t need to take you. You’ll take yourself! Or if you sin by breaking the speed limit and drinking while you are driving, then… well, you get the point.
And on the flip side you may do nothing wrong and be affected by someone else’s sin. For example, you may be hit by that drunk driver.
Well, why doesn’t God try to help that person who falls victim to someone else’s sin? HE DOES, HE DOES, HE DOES!
Now, I’m going to say something that will sound like sacrilege to many people, but I believe that this is exactly what the bible teaches and I believe it with all my heart….
Here it is: God has done and is doing everything He can to help you in every circumstance, especially so if you are a christian. He is even helping you if you are falling victim to your own sin.
But someone will say, “Well, I prayed and God didn’t help me,” or “I prayed, and my mom still died.” No, God did try to help you, but He couldn’t.
Let me share a scripture with you:
He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. Mark 6:5
The key phrase is ‘could not.’ The phrase ‘could not’ should forever settle in your heart the character of God and his desire for mankind.
Think about a dad who has a child. This dad loves his child so much. He wants the best for his child in every way. He would never want anything to ever hurt his son. (By the way, where do you think earthly fathers get such affection for their children?? God, of course). One day while the two are out fishing, a large wave hits the small boat and child goes overboard. The child is swept away by a strong current. The father frantically dives in the water to save his child. He pulls his child to shore, but he is not breathing. He gives the child CPR, but to no avail. The child is dead.
Let me ask you this: which of the following is better? A father that can save but doesn’t, or a father who fails to save after he tries his hardest? The father who tries, of course!
But we put God in the ‘can save but doesn’t’ category. How insulting! The worst insult any father could ever receive!!!
I know that you are thinking, “This cannot be. God has the power to save.” Yes, He does and He does. He can save and He does save. And that goes for physical things here on earth and not just heaven salvation.
So what’s the problem? The problem is that most of humanity is soooo out of tune with God and with spiritual things that they can’t hear God speak to them. They don’t know what God wants them to do, or they don’t listen when God speaks to them.
Maybe God speaks to them and says, “You shouldn’t eat so much sugar,” but they don’t listen. Maybe God speaks to them and says, “Don’t drive down this road tonight,” but they haven’t spent any time with God so they can’t discern His voice. Maybe God says, “You need to spend time fasting and praying so you can be built up in faith to receive this miracle,” but you are too busy doing what you want to do.
There are so many variables in every circumstance. So never judge God by saying, “Why didn’t God do this or that.” God did more than you know. It’s not His fault. It’s never His fault!!!
God wants to help you. And the first step to receiving His help is to understand these things, to understand that His desire is to help you.
May we all understand this and may we begin to see God do much mightier things now then He has ever done before.