WALKING WITH GOD

Robert Gardiner

Genesis 5: 21-24 

Hebrews 11: 5-6 

John 3: 13-15 

Romans 8: 15

         I just have an impression to say a word about walking with God.  There is a scripture that has been on our lips many times in our gatherings together recently - “Shall two walk together except they be agreed”, Amos 3: 3.  That is verily true.  But in Genesis this is not two persons.  This is the Creator God and His creature man.  If it is true of persons, how much more so when it comes to God and His creature - man.  I do not think we ever read about Enoch but a certain admiration comes into your heart.  You admire a man of whom it says he “walked with God”.  It was always God’s desire to walk with man.  When God came down to the garden of Eden His thought was to walk with Adam.  But sin had come in and Adam and his wife hid themselves. “Where art thou?”, God says, Gen 3: 9.  He was looking for companionship but it was not there.  But that did not thwart His desires; thank God for that.  He knew the end from the beginning.

         So we come to chapter 5.  Here is a man of whom it says he “walked with God”.  God had designed in His wisdom and in His love a way whereby He could walk with man; and man could walk with God.  We remember how Abel offered his offering, a firstling of his flock offered by death, in type Christ Himself.  This had to be the way for God to accomplish His desire.  One had to die as the propitiation for sins.  It is interesting that it was after Methushelah was born that it says that Enoch walked with God.  Methushelah lived until he was nine hundred and sixty-nine years old; an extraordinary age.  Enoch was sixty-five when he began to walk with God.  If you translate that into our time, he would have been a relatively young man.  I think this applies to all of us.  But before God can walk with man and man with God, there has to be severe exercise with us. 

         That is why I read in John 3 because it takes us back to the children of Israel who had come out of Egypt.  They had traversed the Red Sea, and had been thirty-eight years in the wilderness; and the land was before them.  God’s desire was that they might come into the land and enjoy His company.  But at this point which we read of in John 3 it is just a short time before they went over Jordan.  Their sins had been dealt with.  The blood had been on the door-posts and on the lintel in Egypt.  The Red Sea had been gone through.  They had many exercises in the thirty-eight years in the wilderness that had showed how great sinners they were.  But now we come to another point.  Again they are complaining against God in the history referred to here.  What comes to light is that God has to point out that it is not just sins, but it is sin in the flesh and it has to be dealt with and dealt with severely.  They had been bitten by the serpents.  So Jehovah told Moses to take a serpent of brass, and he was to lift it up.  And then it was those who looked, and the footnote in Numbers 21: 8, 9 says, ‘looked intently’, who lived.  It was not a casual glance; but it suggests entering into what Christ suffered:  “Him who knew not sin he has made sin for us, that we might become God’s righteousness in him”, 2 Cor 5: 21.  Now I would suggest, dear brethren, that Enoch went through this exercise.  It does not say anything about that, but if he was going to walk with God then there had to be the exercise gone through that would make him suitable to walk with the Person who had provided what was necessary to make him suitable. 

         What a God we have to do with, dear brethren; how considerate He is, what love He has, down-stooping love.  Christ is the Man that came down out of heaven, as it says in John 3: 13,”no one has gone up into heaven, save he who came down out of heaven”.  He was the One who was lifted up, the serpent of brass in the wilderness.  And He is the One that removes all the calamity of sin in the flesh so that we might be persons that can lift up our eyes and say we are done with all that belongs to this world, and all that attaches to it.

We sang that hymn - 

         The heart is satisfied, can ask no more;

          All thought of self is now for ever o’er!

                       (Hymn 247).

Dear brethren, can we come to it in any measure?

         Christ, its unmingled Object, fills the heart

         In blest adoring love - its endless part

That is Enoch, “Christ, its unmingled Object, fills the heart.”  That is the kind of man that can walk with God.  But then after the brazen serpent, you remember, there was the springing well. 

         And that is why I read in Romans, because there we are introduced, you might say, to the Spirit of God.  In Romans we have the perfect work of Christ.  Paul says, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent his own Son, in likeness of flesh of sin, and for sin, has condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law should be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to flesh but according to Spirit”, v 3, 4.  That is like Enoch.  He is no longer walking according to flesh.  He is walking according to Spirit, and therefore, walking with God.  It says further down, “For ye have not received a spirit of bondage again for fear, but ye have received a spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father”, v 15.  We have eternal life in John 3, crying “Abba, Father” in Romans 8.  We are able to enter into the blessedness of what God has ever had in His heart for His creature.  And Enoch was translated with the testimony that he had pleased God: “for before his translation he has the testimony that he had pleased God”, Heb 11: 5. 

         How wonderful to think of God, not only our Creator but our Redeemer, in Christ.  What a thing it is that we are able to please God.  This is the way to it, beloved brethren.  How attractive.  If we admire it in Enoch how wonderful it would be if somebody could admire it in you and me.  And there are such persons -

         The heart is satisfied, can ask no more.

How wonderful, beloved brethren, that to walk with God is a possibility.  Not an ‘if’ or a ‘but’.  It is a possibility because faith has been granted to us.  What a gift of God!  And then with faith there is the Spirit of God.  What a gift of God!  “He who by the eternal Spirit offered Himself spotless to God” (Heb 9: 14) - that same Spirit by whom He offered Himself spotless to God, now filling our hearts.  So that as sons of God we are heirs with Christ, heirs of God, led to enjoy the blessedness of what one day we will enjoy in actuality as over Jordan (translated as Enoch).  But we can enjoy it now, and we can walk here in testimony as persons who are enjoying it because we are walking with God.

         I say again, dear brethren, how can two walk together unless they be agreed?  How could we ever walk with God and God with us unless we are agreed.  The agreement is based on the work and death of our Lord Jesus Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.  May we be attracted more to it.  May we seek to walk more in accordance with it.  May we be persons whose -

         … heart is satisfied, can ask not more;

         All thought of self is now for ever o’er. 

In the words of Mr Darby, “Absolute consecration to Jesus is the strongest bond between human hearts”, Synopsis vol 3 p402.  “I believe Enoch is a type of a person that was absolutely consecrated to Christ, and therefore could walk with God.

         May it be so with us for His Name’s sake.

Kirkcaldy

19th August 2014