By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him…
I. THE NECESSITY FOR PLEASING GOD. There is a God to please — a living God, who takes a continual interest in all human things; who thinks, feels, loves, and is grieved; and whose great endeavour, by all this complicated world-work that He carries on, is to educate human spirits, that they may, like Him, hate the wrong and love the right, and do it. There is a God who is pleased always when the least cause for pleasure is presented to Him. Just as we are glad when a child succeeds in a lesson; when a boy takes a prize; when a young man does some difficult work in a noble way; when a girl is like her mother in goodness; so God is glad when His children do well. All this shows, surely, that there is a necessity for pleasing God; that no man can be right, safe, happy, who does not aim to do this; and, in a measure, succeed in doing it. If God is not pleased with us, we cannot be right. Some say that the attempt to please God is an inferior aim, and that the real end we ought to keep in view is, to be right in everything. Let a man try to be right without any regard to God, and how far will he go? How do we know fully and clearly what is right without God's gracious information? A little we know by our native moral sense, but for the perfect ideal of goodness we are indebted solely to Him. Therefore we must try to please Him. God, being God, is an infinite, absolute, all-perfect Being; holding in Himself all principles, all relations, all truth, order, and beauty; to please Him must, in the very nature of the case, be to do right.
II. NOW, as to THE METHOD of this; of course I do not pretend to give a full description of the method. That would be to describe the whole Christian life; for all duty, service, and suffering are with a good man parts of the one grand endeavour to please God. But I will say this, that it is not difficult to please God if only we take the right way of it. He is not a hard master. I believe we have no idea how simple, how natural, how human-like in the best sense is the joy of God in the obedience of His children. We have only to attain a simple, purified sincerity as to the motive, and then put a glow into the action, when God, beholding, will say, "It is well." "I am pleased; pleased with the action — with the worker — above all, because I can now give the reward." But we shall suppose the case of one who has not yet pleased God at all. How must he begin to do so .7 I should say that to him the first feeling, if he is now wishing to do the will of God, would be a feeling of regret that he has not done it, a feeling of unfeigned sorrow; in other words, repentance. Then faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as representing the will of the Father, as communicating the Father's grace, as crucified for our offences, and raised again for our justification. He is the propitiation for our sins, and the rectifier of our lives, and the guide of our steps, Redeemer from sin, and death, and hell. Then, after repentance and faith, there comes the whole process of practical obedience, filial and loving. When the yoke is taken in this spirit, it is easy; when the burden is lifted so, it is light. And life then is simple. It is but to " walk with God" and "please" Him so. It is but to see Him where He is; to hear Him when He speaks; but to serve and enjoy Him with a loving heart. That God will be pleased with such a course is just as certain as that a good father or mother will approve a loving obedience in a child. Just as certain as it is that God loves order and beauty, and goodness and truth.
III. THE RESULTS of doing this will be manifold, and very good.
1. We shall in this way please ourselves as we never can do in any other. It is well when a man brings himself up to the bar of his better self. There is something of God in a good man; the enlightened conscience is the echo of the Divine authority and will. A noble ideal is surely to be cherished, a generous purpose is to be held fast, and the soul is to be encouraged in doing this in every possible way. Now there is no way so direct and sufficient as the way of pleasing God; by a loving obedience to Him we reach and please and satisfy our better self.
2. Then, further, if we please God, we shall ourselves have pleasure in life and the world. He can make our enemies to be at peace with us, and He will, if we please Him. In the world we are to have tribulation, and yet we may be of good cheer, for we are victors.
3. Finally, come what may in this life, that always is sure. "He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." He is the great rewarder even in this life. Do but a little service heartily to Him, and He will come to you with His rewarding love. You cry in wonder of so much munificence, "My cup runneth over." All this will God give into your bosom and pour about your life, even here and now. Then what will He do hereafter to those who love and please Him? Earth does not hold the secret. It is "reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation."
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
WEB: By faith, Enoch was taken away, so that he wouldn't see death, and he was not found, because God translated him. For he has had testimony given to him that before his translation he had been well pleasing to God.