In Genesis 11, we begin to read about Abram. He, and members of his family, were on their way from his hometown Ur, to Canaan. But they stopped about one-third of the way, at Haran. They settled there, and Terah, Abram’s father, eventually died there.
Genesis 11:31-32 AMP “Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together to go from Ur of the Chaldeans into the land of Canaan; but when they came to Haran [about five hundred and fifty miles northwest of Ur], they settled there. Terah lived two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.”
From the above passage, it appears as though Terah made the decision to travel to Canaan, but decided to settle in Haran. The Bible is not clear why they rather settled in Haran. I have a couple of theories of my own. These have not been proven or confirmed, though.
My first theory is that Terah could not get over the grief of losing his firstborn son, Haran. A couple of verses prior, we read that Haran, Terah’s firstborn son had died. It is never easy for a parent to lose a child. The fact that the town, Haran, had the same name as his son, might have triggered memories of that sorrow. It might have been too difficult for Terah to go further in this emotional state. He thus never attempted to finish the journey he started and died where he had settled.
Are you settling for a Haran, when God has a Canaan in mind for you? Are you struggling to come to terms with a tragedy or loss in your life? Have you become emotionally stuck? Are you weighed down with grief, sorrow, or depression? Just think, what could have been different had Terah continued with his journey all the way to Canaan.
God can heal all our wounds. Physical, spiritual, and emotional. He is the God of restoration and promises to be close to the broken-hearted or contrite in spirit (Psalm 147:3). He asks us to trust Him and look to Him even in our suffering. He knows and understands all we go through. He does not wish for us to get stuck in the sorrows of life but is there to help us through to the other side of grief to experience joy and fulfillment again. Do not settle for brokenness and give up on life. You still have a lot of life to live, and beautiful experiences await you. Trust God enough to move forward and to arrive at your Canaan, where you can have peace, joy, and hope for the future again.
A second reason for settling in Haran might have been, that Abram did not want to leave his dad behind, especially in his grief. We read in Acts 7, in Stephan’s sermon, that God actually prompted Abram for the first time in Ur, to leave his family and homeland to go to a new land (Canaan), but then settled at Haran until his father passed away. He did not leave his relatives as God requested. His disobedience might have prolonged his journey to reach all God had planned for him.
Acts 7:2-5 AMP “And he answered, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory [the Shekinah, the radiance of God] appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and He said to him, ‘LEAVE YOUR COUNTRY AND YOUR RELATIVES, AND COME TO THE LAND THAT I WILL SHOW YOU.’ Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, God sent him to this country in which you now live. But He did not give him inheritable property, not even enough ground to take a step on, yet He promised that HE WOULD GIVE IT TO HIM AS A POSSESSION, AND TO HIS DESCENDANTS AFTER HIM.”
Is there someone or something that is holding you back from moving forward to all God has for you? Is God warning you about a relationship you should end? Are you making emotional decisions instead of being obedient to God? Are you following logic instead of trusting God’s voice, even though His prompting might not make sense in the natural? When we do not act in obedience, we can prolong our journey unnecessarily. Disobedience can also lead us down a path, which the Lord has wanted to protect us from. When we trust in our own insights and perspectives, we can follow a path of struggle and hardship, that could have been avoided. Let’s be quick to obey because God sees the whole picture and knows our future. Do not settle for your past. God can be trusted when He calls us to act. He has good plans for us.
Jeremiah 29:11 AMP ”For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
In Genesis 12:1 – 7, after Terah passed away, we read that God said to Abram a second time to go away from his country, relatives, and father’s house. Isn’t it great to know that God gives us second chances?
God might also have waited until Terah passed, to call Abram again, because Terah was worshiping idols. Abram, who followed God, received the covenant and promises for him and His descendants after him. I wonder had Terah not worshiped idols, might he have been part of that plan? God wants us to choose and worship Him as the only true God.
Genesis 31:53 AMP ”The God of Abraham [your father] and the God of Nahor [my father], and the god [the image of worship] of their father [Terah, an idolater], judge between us.” But Jacob swore [only] by [the one true God] the Fear of his father Isaac.”
Joshua 24:2 AMP ”Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, lived beyond the [Euphrates] River in ancient times; and they served other gods.”
The second time God spoke to Abram to move, he obeyed and went all the way. Still, he did not leave his relatives as God requested but took Lot along. There was some strife between Him and Lot when they settled in Canaan, which could have been avoided, had Lot not travelled with him. God still had blessings, promises, and a covenant in store for Abram. But, these blessings could only come to pass, though, once he acted in obedience to go where God said he should go, and once Lot’s path split from his (Genesis 13:14-17). Are you in some way missing out on all God has for you, because of disobedience?
Had Abram not acted in obedience, he might have missed out on the best God had in store for him. Had he settled in Haran forever, he might have settled for less. Do not settle for less than God has for you. To receive more, we need to expect more, believe for the more, trust for more, and follow God to the more. Do not settle for the mundane or less. God is, and always has more for us.
Ephesians 1:3 TPT ”Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus—all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate him with all our hearts!”
Psalms 31:19 TPT ”Lord, how wonderful you are! You have stored up so many good things for us, like a treasure chest heaped up and spilling over with blessings— all for those who honor and worship you! Everybody knows what you can do for those who turn and hide themselves in you.”
Ephesians 3:20 TPT ”Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.”
We can keep ourselves from the best God has for us. We can limit what God can do by a lack of faith or trust in God, not making God our first priority, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, speaking less of God’s capabilities, and ourselves, and through disobedience. When God says move, MOVE. Take that leap of faith. When the world says NO, God can say YES. When there is a lack, God can give abundance. Where there are obstacles, God can make our paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-8 AMP ”Trust in and rely confidently on the LORD with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil. It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts] And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.”
What do you need to let go of to move forward? What needs to die in your flesh so you can move to what God has for you? Remember that God has infinitely more of Himself, more revelation, more blessing, more impact in His kingdom in store for us. It is a question of whether we will move in obedience and faith like Abram or settle for less, like Terah. Abram’s obedience lead to more he could ever imagine. His faith grew, he had face-to-face encounters with God and angels, and God called him His friend. I want to encourage you to heed to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Follow His prompting, warning, teaching, and guidance to move towards all God has planned for you. Always expect more than your human mind can limit you. Speak the Word and promises over your life. Make use of your second chances. God will never disappoint. Trust in His goodness towards you as your Heavenly Father. He might just blow your mind when you take that next step of obedience.
Stay resolute my friend.
VERSE IMAGE OF THE WEEK