“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” (Gen 5:24, NASB) “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.” (Gen 6:9, NASB) So, what does this mean to “walk with God” and why was it so important for these men to do so?
To understand this concept, we need to know a little about the world in which they lived. Enoch was born 622 years after Adam. He was Noah’s great-grandfather. Enoch was taken to heaven a mere 69 years before Noah’s birth. By this time the ONLY patriarch who had actually died was Adam! Seth passed 14 years before Noah’s birth and ALL the rest of the patriarch’s would die within Noah’s lifetime. This made it very easy to pass down oral traditions from one generation to the next. Unfortunately, it also allowed human beings to live too long giving vent to fleshly and evil desires. Life on earth went drastically wrong during Noah’s lifetime. Genesis 6:12-13 tells us that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. Yet in the midst of this, both Enoch and Noah walked with God.
Others also walked with God, although the Bible translations we currently utilize phrase it “walked before God”. We read of Abram in Gen 17:1 where he was told to “walk before God”. Then David is quoted as saying “For You have delivered my soul from death, Indeed my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of the living.” (Ps 56:13, NASB) Solomon also spoke of “walking before God” (I Kings 8:23).
So what does this mean to “walk with or before God” and why is it so critical in our own time? I’ve been a student of history for a while now, and while there have been times of great evil, there have also been great good during these times to defeat the evil. There have been places of great evil in the earth, but also other places at the same time of good and peace. Before the great flood of Noah’s time, the ENTIRE EARTH was corrupt and FILLED with violence! After the flood, men attempted to build a tower that would reach the heavens and the Lord had to scatter them and confuse their language to keep them from, once again, filling the earth with corruption and violence. Today, the entire earth is connected by technology and is again filling the globe with corruption and violence. We need to walk with God!
So what does it mean to “walk with or before God”? In all of the above examples the actual Hebrew translated into “before God” is Paw-neem’ meaning the Face or Presence (weightiness) of God! This tells us that we are not only designed to walk in God’s very Presence or weighty glory, but that in this day and age it is critical to do so! It does NOT mean that we do our thing and ask God to put His stamp of approval on it. It does mean that we worship Him, listen for His voice and do what He says! If we are to survive in this year of the “whirlwind”, we HAVE to find the place of peace in the eye of the storm around us. That place is only found walking in the breath of His Presence! As Nike is famous for saying: “Just Do It”!