The Household of God
The early history of mankind
- Chapter 54 -
ENOCH'S SPEECH ON TRUE THANKING AND PRAISING
So they both rose turning their backs to the morning and descended to the foot of the hill where Seth was already waiting for them with longing. When they had reached Seth, he threw himself to the ground before Adam who gave him the morning blessing and then bade him rise and accompany them to the hut.
Arrived there, Adam and Enoch entered it where mother Eve was already awaiting them Meanwhile Seth hurried to his hut and bade his wife to immediately take the prepared breakfast to the hut of Adam, while he and Enos, Kenan, Mahalaleel and the delighted Jared praised My name first and then went respectfully to Adam's hut in order to give him the morning greeting and render their thanks for the blessing. When they respectfully entered the hut and were on the point of meeting their obligation, Adam told them to wait a bit until Enoch had finished the prayer before breakfast, which he was now going to begin. Hearing this, they stopped, retreated a bit and concentrated their eyes, ears and hearts on Enoch who began to address the following little prayer to Me in all faithfulness:
"Exceedingly great, most loving and holy Father, lend graciously Your holy ear to my weak mouth and hear the weak whimpering of a dusty worm of the earth on the day of Your endless love's eternal mercy, since it pleased You to wrest from the dust of the earth our arch-patriarch and out of him the arch-mother, then laying into both the blessed procreative power from whose abundance we and countless descendants have come into existence from the seed of love and be followed by countless generations upon generations till the end of all time. This seed You, O best and most holy Father, have taken out of Your eternal Love so that our soul might become a living image of You through the love of Your Spirit within it. Oh, be thanked, praised and glorified for such immense grace and mercy that You deigned to condescend so far to bid that, which had not ever been, come into existence and to freely recognize itself and You, to behold Your sublimity and marvel at the works of Your great might and glory.
"Behold, we are here in the presence of Adam, Your sublime first man, and we have already before us a good, healthy refreshment for the body O most holy Father, do bless us and bless also this fresh food that it may contribute to life for us in Your love and never again to death through Your wrath. And let us all through Your grace bear in mind what great things Your boundless love has done in and for all of us on the Pre-Sabbath.
"Oh let us be well aware that it was Your love alone which bade the arch-patriarch Adam rise from the dust of the earth and that the great hand of Your love formed him in Your image and let all of us wondrously go forth from him as perfect as he came forth out of You. Oh, for that I will glorify, thank and praise You all my life. But may You graciously receive my weak clamor although it is unworthy of touching Your heart which all Your creation fears to look at O Lord, bless this refreshment for us, for all our being is a blessing out of You! Amen."
When Enoch had ended this prayer all the patriarchs bowed to Adam and performed their already earlier mentioned duty. Adam blessed them for this and said: "Dear children, stay with me for a while until Eve and the dear and pious Enoch will have refreshed us with the gift of God. Then I will inform you of my will and interpret the phenomena of the morning. Until then sit down and ponder on Enoch's prayer. Amen."
So they sat down and silently did what Adam had bidden them do. When the breakfast had been consumed, Adam rose, gazed up to Me deeply moved and thanked Me in his heart, and so did Eve and by her side Enoch
After having expressed his thanks, Adam turned to Enoch and said: "Dear Enoch, what you began before the meal, finish it now aloud in the presence of all your fathers so that your work may become a complete one before God and us, your fathers Amen."
Thereupon Enoch rose happily, thanked Adam for the reminder and began the following brief, but all the more weighty speech, addressing it to all:
O dear fathers, what could be more reasonable than to keep offering God our childlike thanks for every gift, and that with such a powerful voice that the sun, moon and all the stars arc embarrassed? But let us ask ourselves whether it would be of service to the great Lord if we, blinded by our pride, wanted to show Him as it were how powerful and impressive His love looks in our breast.
O fathers, this the great and holy Father in Heaven does not need; for He, before Whom all works lie revealed, knows best what He has laid into us. Only in our humble weakness are we before Him something He looks at in His love, whereas our strength is a blind folly before the eyes of His holiness.
"Is not He Himself all our strength? How can we therefore pride ourselves of something that does not belong to us, but to Him Who has given it to us out of His great mercy so that we may become His property.
"But if we always shouted our praise and thanks to Him with a powerful voice, would it not be as if we praised and thanked ourselves in the face of God, if we boasted before Him with His property, persuading ourselves before Him that we were capable of something out of ourselves?
"Look, when someone speaks with a grand voice (i.e., with exalted words) as if out of himself, then this is not his voice, but the voice of the Lord through him. How then should we wish in our blindness for the Lord to glorify, praise and thank Himself in our place, whilst He only shows us graciously what we must do in our weakness so that we may become worthy of a proper strengthening from Him?
"Oh look, that we may worthily glorify, praise and thank the Lord we must do this most humbly in our weakness. Then He will look at us in His mercy and we shall always be newly strengthened by His boundless love. Amen."
When Adam with all the others had heard these words, he turned to Enoch and asked him: "But dear Enoch, what does this mean what you have just said? If I do not understand it, how are my children supposed to understand it, mainly for whose sake I have actually asked you to speak? For I gather from your words, according to my understanding, that we should neither glorify nor praise and thank the Lord in this manner, for all of us and everything in us is God's and has gone forth from Him.
"Thus, if someone would like to glorify, praise and thank the Lord, he would have to keep silent when he remembers that the Lord within us, as His works, would then be glorifying, praising and thanking Himself.
"Behold, everything in us is God's might and power and we are surely His work and living parts out of Him. In view of this, all our actions would be nothing but presumptuousness towards God if we thought they were our work, whereas they are alone God's work, since nothing is ours, but everything God's.
"O Enoch, you must explain to us more clearly what you have said, otherwise we shall all perish in the night of our doubts!"
When Enoch realized the misunderstanding, he said: "Dear fathers, how come that you are baffled by this? Who would like to eat the wood of the tree, which is too hard, yet the sweet fruit comes from the wood, which as such is uneatable. But when we eat the fruit, we thank for the fruit and not for the tree on which the fruit was prepared for us.
"Suppose we were the wood of the tree and, like the latter, we were given a fruit; but since the tree is meant to bear fruit, - which of them should thank the Lord, the tree or the fruit?
"Is not the fruit the Lord's gift of love which cannot, and must not, thank the Lord, but alone the tree as a free law - although it has originated from the same fruit - because it was given for the future in an unbroken sequence the power from above to bring forth a living fruit and within it countless others of its kind.
"What difference is there in the planting, whether we take shoots from the tree and plant them in the ground and another tree grows there- from or we take a fruit and plant it in the earth, and from that grows a tree also?
"Behold, we are the shoots and the seed is God's blessing. If we recognize that we are not the fruit and the seed, but just shoots and trees to be blessed with the fruit and the seed, then the grand voice in us is the God-given fruit and seed which are not supposed to glorify, praise and thank, for it is they for which thanks should be given However, we arc like the tree and the shoots and must glorify, praise and thank in that which we are, but not in that which we receive, and then always for what we receive so that we may become completely free before God and thereby conform to His holy purpose. Amen."