Enoch: How the Lord Makes Weak Things Strong
Weakness. We all have it. We are all expected to overcome it. The command, “Be Ye therefore perfect” in Matthew 5:48 was indeed literal. It is not some arbitrary mark made up to fulfill some productivity goal. It is the whole point of our life on earth. We are to become perfect, even as God is perfect.
But there is so much weakness.
Fortunately for us, God has provided means whereby our weaknesses can be removed. What’s more, they can become our strengths. Ether 12:27 reads, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
Here the Lord introduces his pattern for eradicating weaknesses. It only requires two things: humility, and faith. If we are humble, and have faith that the Lord can change us, then He will, as He promised, make those weak things become strong. And the Lord always keeps His promises when we keep up our end.
We all remember Enoch for being the prophet who built up a city that was so righteous that the entire population was carried up into Heaven. By that measurement, you could conclude that he was probably the most successful prophet to date. But he, too, had weaknesses.
We read about when he was first called of God in Moses chapter 6. Upon hearing the voice of the Lord call him to his Holy calling, Enoch had this reaction (in verse 31), “And when Enoch had heard these words, he bowed himself to the earth, before the Lord, and spake before the Lord, saying: Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?”
Here we see the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise from Ether 12. Enoch first was humble. He bowed himself to the earth before the Lord. Sincere prayer is a sure sign of humility because it shows that you acknowledge your dependence on the Lord. Because Enoch was humble, the Lord showed him his weaknesses; Enoch was able to list them. In seeing his weaknesses, he even asked, “wherefore am I thy servant?” Why me? I’m obviously not the guy you’re looking for.
Enoch of course, did accept the Lord’s assignment, in faith. We can read of the results of Enoch’s humility and faith in Moses 7:13, “And so great was the faith of Enoch that he led the people of God, and their enemies came to battle against them; and he spake the word of the Lord, and the earth trembled, and the mountains fled even according to his command; and the rivers of water were turned out of their course; and the roar of the lions was heard out of the wilderness; and all nations feared greatly, so powerful was the word of Enoch, and so great was the power of the language which God had given him.”
In these words we have the complete fulfillment of both sides of the promise. Enoch had demonstrated humility before the Lord and was shown his weaknesses. After having his weaknesses revealed to him, he pressed forward with faith, knowing that God had the power to fulfill his promise to make them strong. Enoch’s admitted weakness was in being slow of speech. In the end, all of the elements were subject to his words, and all nations feared the word of the Lord because of the power of his words. God fulfilled his promise to Enoch, and made his greatest weakness into a great strength.
We can follow the same pattern. As we humbly, prayerfully turn to the Lord, he will help us to discover our weaknesses (in case you haven’t already!). After that, we must continue to press forward with faith, believing that God can make our weaknesses into strengths.
Perfection won’t come in a day, a week, or a year, and it may not come in this lifetime. It will come, however eventually, to those humble followers of Christ who seek Him in faith, as they erase their weaknesses one by one on their trek towards eternity.
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