It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.Hebrews 11:5-6
Allow me to put this verse a little differently, giving it the emphasis intended by the author in Greek. It was because of Enoch’s faith that he was taken up to heaven and didn’t die a natural death. He just disappeared because God removed [μετέθηκεν] him. He was [metatithēmi‘d] because God transferred him, transported him, transferred him out of the world, removed him, translated him. Verse 6 tells us literally that before this removal Enoch had obtained a witness (there’s that word again – [martureō] – “attested to”) – “obtained a witness” that God was well pleased with him. Verse 6 goes on to say ‘without FAITH it is impossible to be well pleasing to God’.
It is very clear isn’t it? Enoch’s faith was the catalyst for him being removed and transported directly into God’s presence. Wow! Now you have to admit that is quite a testimony [μεμαρτύρηται]. Elijah is the only other person recorded in the Word of God, Old or New Testament, who experienced such a departure. Why did it happen? It happened because Enoch lived by faith and pleased God to such a degree that God took him home by way of Philip’s transport.
As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him. The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?”
So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus. He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.Acts 8:28-40
The verb used in Philip’s story is not the same one as used for Enoch. Rather it is [ἁρπάζω] harpadzō “to seize”, “snatch away”, “convey or transport away suddenly or hastily”. It is the same verb used in John 6:15 for when Jesus was snatched away. But of course Enoch was snatched away to ‘heaven’.
Why? Because of his faith! He truly was an example of faith, to those around him who witnessed his faith and to God Himself.
Want to worry less? Then pray more. Rather than look forward in fear, look upward in faith.Max Lucado
Whatever holds your awe holds your faith!Judah Smith
Fear knocked at the door and faith answered. No one was there.Old English Proverb
Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, faith looks up.Ian