Genesis chapter five is the solemn refrain “and he died.” All the people in this genealogy lived longer lives than any of us will ever experience. Methusaleh barely fell short of a full millenium at 969 years. But regardless of the length the ending is the same; “And he died.”  The only bright spot in the chapter is a man called Enoch. He lived 365 years. But the end is not “and he died.” It is “God took him.” It doesn’t record God’s disposition for any in the list except for Enoch. He “walked with God.” He seemed to have been favored by God.

We might be tempted to think the opposite. Enoch was cheated out of a long life like the others. But God taking him is presented as a good thing. You’ve heard it said that “only the good die young.” I expect that this is where that come from. From this issue we learn that being “taken by God” brings us (who walk with Him by faith in this life) to a better place. It’s a blessing to go to be with God, not a curse.

It’s our destiny anyway. Some anonymous person wrote: “Man’s life means: tender teens, teachable twenties, tireless thirties, fiery forties, forceful fifties, serious sixties, sacred seventies, aching eighties, shortening breath, death, the sod, God!”

Even here we know that we will be with God in the next life. This life, whether long or short, ends for every believer at the same place.

While waiting in a cemetery to conduct a funeral service, Charles Simeon walked among the graves, looking at the epitaphs. He found one that arrested him.

When from the dust of death I rise,
To claim my mansion in the skies,
E’en then shall this be all my plea–
“Jesus hath lived and died for me.