Many kids aspire to see their names in a Hall of Fame when they grow up. In fact, right here in Waco, we have the Texas Sports Hall of Fame museum, which commemorates athletic achievements across the state. There are plenty others, of course, and not all of them are related to sports. (Personally, I’d love a Pulitzer, but I digress.) As I began thinking about our new sermon series on putting God at the center of our lives, I remembered another Hall of Fame, found in Hebrews 11.
This Hall of Fame doesn’t have anything to do with athletic prowess or geeky achievements; instead, it features champions of faith since the dawn of creation. Adam was 130 years old when his third son, Seth, was born. (Earlier in the story, Adam & Eve’s eldest son, Cain, murdered his brother Abel and was then exiled into the wilderness.) The Bible says in Genesis 4:25 that around the time Seth had his first son (at the age of 105), “people began to call upon the name of the Lord” (ESV). Isn’t it interesting that it took 235 years for people to start worshiping God?!?
Adam lived another 800 years after Seth was born, which meant that he was alive to see Noah’s father, Lamech. It also meant that he witnessed two of the champions in the Hebrews 11 Hall of Fame: his deceased son, Abel, and his great-great-great-great-grandson, Enoch. Genesis 5:24 tells us that Enoch “walked with God” and one day, he simply disappeared because God took him. Hebrews 11:5-6 fills in the details a bit by explaining that Enoch was a man of faith, and he did not experience death; he was simply taken to heaven directly. Wow!
Enoch also happened to be the great-grandfather of Noah, who is also described in Genesis 6 as someone who pleased God. Not surprisingly, Noah also made it into the Hebrews 11 roster. Enoch and Noah did not seem to have any superhuman abilities or extraordinary accomplishments (except for the whole building-the-ark thing, but that was after Noah had proven himself faithful to the Lord). They just walked with God.
So, as we talk about putting God at the center of our lives, we’re not discussing rocket science. It’s a simple matter of choice, day in and day out, to walk with him in faith and practice.