Though many people have assumed the Bible to be a book of fairytale-like stories, it is not because its contents are arranged and presented such a way. Typically people who make such judgments are those who have little experience reading and understanding the Bible. The Bible presents itself as a book of verified historical facts and as the Holy Spirit-inspired Word of God, not a book of tall tales. For example, Genesis 5:1-32 presents the genealogy of Seth. The Bible is clear to present Seth as a historical figure, not a make-believe one. This one, of many genealogies in the Bible, documents the lives of real historical people, the times in which they lived, and never seeks to present these facts in hyperbole or in symbolic matters to present moral lessons. The authors of these genealogies wrote them in order to inform readers about real human beings that lived during the times that were documented.
Such truth has created controversy with the secular world. In Genesis 5:1-32 the Bible presents specific names with very specific numbers that have helped Bible readers and believers date the age of the world. Genesis 5:1-32 reminds readers that God created man. His ability to live and bear children was not dependent on a process that spanned over millions of years. The Bible is sure to remind readers that when Seth was born, Adam and Eve were having babies as human beings - male and female, so that their offspring were born in their own likeness and image. The language of the Bible seemingly takes extra effort to refute more modern theories about the origin of mankind, though the Bible's contents were written long before these newer ideas.
Genesis 5:1-32 then goes on to list a specific genealogy of Adam through his son Seth. Recall that Cain killed Abel, and then was cursed. Thus, Adam and Eve had another son named Seth, and the genealogy follows his bloodline to document all of his descendants up to Noah. Genesis 5:1-32 is specific in its details to show that, while the genealogy only presents the lives of 10 men, the Bible states that each man's family produced other sons and daughters in order to populate the world. When one examines the scriptures in the manner that they were intended, and interprets the Bible as the literal Word of God, placing its contents as the authority over mankind's wisdom, then one discovers that by the time Noah had his family, 1.656 years had elapsed. This is where the phrase "young earth" has come from since the Bible proposes that the planet, just before the flood, was less than 2,000 years old, while many secularists would propose that the earth was billions of years old.
In the middle of the genealogy, there is an interesting mention of a man named Enoch, who is also mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11 as being a hero of saving faith and a godly example. Genesis 5:1-32 does not provide a lot of information about Enoch, but the pattern of details changes when Enoch's life is summarized. Each person in the genealogy of Genesis 5:1-32 has his name stated, his age stated when they had their first son, and then their age when they died. Each person is seen living hundreds of years since the affects of sin's curse on the earth had not fully manifested, and the flood had not yet destroyed the protective elements of life that God had implemented in creation. However, when Enoch is presented, there is an added detail that "he walked with God." Since this is only said of Enoch, one can gather that, while Seth began to call on the name of the Lord (Genesis 4:26), Enoch extended his relationship with the Lord to new intimate heights in faith as stated by the author of Hebrews.
As a result, God did something incredible! The Bible does not say that Enoch died like the rest of the men in the genealogy. Instead, Genesis 5:1-32 states that Enoch simply didn't exist anymore "because God took him." Hence, Enoch is a man that never had to face physical death, and was one of the only men of this genealogy that did not die in the flood. God reveals a powerful truth about Himself in this simple statement. Those who desire God and call upon Him in order to walk with Him in faith, will never see death. In the New Testament, the Bible often refers to the death of believers as "sleep" since Jesus promised that faith in Him would grant the blessing of eternal life. Many have even connected the teachings of the rapture to Enoch, using him as an example of one who was "taken up" without experiencing physical death. The point is, Genesis 5:1-32 distinguishes Enoch from the rest of the people listed in the genealogy because Enoch walked with God. He had a special and unique relationship with God.
The author of the Book of Hebrews attributes Enoch's relationship to God to his faith. Since it is impossible to please God without faith, Enoch was one of few people that actually pleased God because of faith. The Book of Hebrews teaches that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things that are unseen. This reveals that as Enoch had faith, he lived in such a manner that provided substance and proof of God's being and demonstrated a hope in God's promise to deal with sin. The Bible does not provide specific examples of how he did that, but the rest of the Bible is filled with examples of this kind of faith so that Enoch becomes a picture of the reward for those who believe! Enoch received rest. Enoch avoided death. Enoch's faith made it so that he didn't have to suffer the wages of sin.
In contrast, Genesis 5:1-32 shows that the rest of the people of the genealogy were struggling in life because of the curse of sin. The ground was cursed, hard labor was the affect, and the people were in anguish over this reality. Genesis 5:1-32 shows that Lamech was hopeful in the birth of Noah. Lamech hoped that Noah would be one to bring relief from the labor caused by sin. Lamech looked to Noah as a sort of savior or Messiah. While Noah was not the Messiah of Genesis 3:15, his life and testimony certainly served to present a picture of the greater work Messiah would do. Thus, the lives of these men were recorded as historical documents to show the timeline of God's work, the hope in God's work, and the benefits of God's work for those who believe in the truth of God's work and promises.