I love it when God lets me know that I’m hearing His voice and following His leading. Don’t you?
Take this week, for instance. I was in our church’s regular mid-week Bible study when someone asked the question, “Why were certain books omitted from the King James version of the Bible?” I answered, “Just each person who authored books of the Bible was attempting to write for a specific audience with a specific purpose, so the theologians who cannonized the KJV had an audience and purpose in mind when doing so.”
The person who asked the question was satisfied with my answer, but I wasn’t satisfied myself.
The question that arose in my own mind was, “What did people who believed in God do before there was a Bible? Or church?” Even the Bible speaks of people who had a relationship with God before any scriptures were ever written.
Take Enoch, for example. He was the father of Methuselah (the oldest man who ever lived according to scripture). His life is summarized in Gen. 5:24: “And Enoch walked with God 300 years, and after that he was no more, because the Lord took him.”
A man who consistently walked with God. For 300 years. Without scriptures to guide him. No church to hold him accountable. No religious rituals (prayer, fasting, attending services, doing good deeds, etc.) to make him feel pious.
Today, modern Christians and followers of other faiths as well often have a hard time actually walking with God on a consistent basis (at least, I know I do). With all the aforementioned “supports” (or “traps” depending upon how you look at it) and then some, I still occasionally falter in my performances as a believer.
I was still contemplating Enoch’s life with my wife on the way home from a church meeting last night. “How did he do it?”
Fast forward to early this morning. I was at my mother’s house browsing the many books she has accumulated over the years when I came across one entitled, “The Lost Bible: Forgotten Scriptures Revealed” by J.R. Porter.
Intrigued, I opened it and began perusing its contents. Guess what I found? You guessed it; “The First Book of Enoch”!
While I plan to read it more in depth (I love to study all things spiritual and natural), I’ve already learned a few lessons from it.
Lesson One: “If you seek, you will find”. God always puts both the desire to understand and the material to be found within our reach.
Lesson Two: “The Just Shall Live by Faith”. That’s how Enoch did it and ultimately how everyone does it (more or less). “He/she that comes to God must first believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Lesson Three: “Don’t Always Accept Everything That You’ve Been Told”. The “forgotten” books of the Bible were actually censored by the religious machinery of a specific group with a specific agenda. Jesus was crucified by just such a system. He said all those who dare to truly, fully follow God would also be persecuted at the very least. Blessed are all who don’t allow any person, group or culture to limit their personal pursuit of God and truth.
If we’re bold enough to ask the hard questions, God will show us the right answers. They really are always there waiting to be found. Just like God. Just like us.
Thanks, Lord, for being so easy to get to know.