Terah for whatever reason had a call/desire to move from Ur of the Chaldeans (southern Babylon) to Canaan (Israel). He had lost one son, Haran. The other, Abram, could bear him no grandsons. But there was a third son, Nahor and he did have children. But even in that the call to go to Canaan was strong enough that Terah set out without Nahor and his 2 precious grandchildren. No easy decision for a grandparent. And the reason why Nahor refused to go with the family is a mystery. But setting his face toward the call Terah headed north with Abram and his wife as well as Lot, his 1 grandson from Haran, the son he had lost.
They took a circuitous route, traveling north along the Euphrates before planning to head back down south, but for whatever reason Terah stopped half way. It must have been too hard of a journey. Either that or too nice of an area because Terah stopped. Completely. He settled. He set down roots. He built a city. And in his still left-over grief over the loss of his youngest son, he named the city “Haran.” But that’s all the farther he went. He was done. Mission: Unfulfilled due to settling at the halfway point. “They settled there” reads the epitath of his life.
Approximately 50 years later God in his mercy called Abram to leave Haran and “your country, your people and your father’s household and go the land I will show you” and complete the mission that his father had started. Either Terah had passed away at that time (which is unlikely when considering the age) or he refused to go with Abraham, but we have no more record of Terah. The story ends.
While the story of Terah ends, the story of the mission continues. Terah’s son did indeed make it to the land of Canaan as God had lead them. He became the father of many children, the patriarch of faith, and a key man in the history of Israel. We all know and love and honor this man now called Abraham.
But all this causes me to be reminded that our decisions can abruptly short change the call of God in our lives. We can “settle.” The burr under our saddle can be rubbed until calloused and we don’t feel it anymore. And we can bury our call in being busy, being “responsible,” and trading our sense of security for whatever God might have given us. God will get his work done, with our without us. He made that clear to Esther. But he wants to have us be a part of the journey, and there’s a reason he has asked us. I have heard several powerful Christians (Reinard Bonnke, the Heavenly Man) who they felt like God was asking them to do something and when they hesitated, the Lord told them “You’re not my first choice but the others said no.” I like Reinhard Bonnke’s response, “then Lord, let me be your last choice. Ask no further. I will do it.”
The Lord is looking for the man or woman who will journey with him the whole way. Abraham was full of blunders, shortcomings and was a flat-out liar, but God used him anyway. Will we let him use us as well? Will we go the full distance with Him? Lord, let me be your last choice. Ask no further. I will do it.
“This is the account of Terah.
Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milcah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milcah and Isach. Now Sarai was barren; she had no children.
Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.” (Gen 11:27-32)