To Canaan's Land

Gen 11: 24 -32

Terah was the father of Abram.

31 Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot (Haran’s son), and his daughter–in–law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they set out together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
32 Terah lived 205 years and died in Haran. (HCSB)

Why did Terah take his family and head for the land of Canaan? It was his stated intention to go all the way to Canaan, but he stopped at a place Terah named Haran, after his son who had passed.

For several years I have pondered where Terah fits in the story of Abraham and faith. It seems to me that scripture tells us that Terah was moved to gather up what was his and head out for Canaan, but only made it about half way there. So, the question I have wrestled with is this: "Did the Lord first call Terah who did not have the faith to complete the journey? Or, was it Abram who was called, but allowed his relationship with his father to distract him from the calling of God?"

Note that the word does indeed speak to to the possibility of what distracted Terah:

Jos 24:2 Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods."

Isn't it true that all that distracts the believer from the calling of God can become other gods?

Also, in Acts 7: 2-4, the Holy Spirit records that Stephen saying that God called Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, prior to settling in Haran. In this, admittedly, brief examination of scripture we only know that Abram was called and that possibly Terah was also called at the same time to head, by faith, to Canaan's Land; which became known as "The Promised Land". We also know that, contrary to the call and to faith, they were delayed in Haran.

How easy it is to hear the call of God. As young disciples we eagerly search the Word of God, attentively take in every sermon and fervently pray, all in effort of hear the call of God for our lives. Then we hear him. He calls me to preach in Central America or to be a great earner so that I can help support the one who is sent to rural Georgia. Perhaps I am called to be an elder or a lay minister. Whatever it is most of us have, at one time, felt the call of God for our lives.

On my way to the land of Canaan I got side tracked; I came across this little piece of land. It was so beautiful and peaceful. This was the kind of place I'd always wanted to call home.

Or was I distracted by dreams unfulfilled? I couldn't complete college; my brothers and sisters have degrees, but I've let my parents and myself down, I've failed. I was headed to Canaan, but I made a wrong turn and I'm too far off the path to try to make it now.

I was on my way to Canaan, but the man I fell in love with is not the prince I dreamed of, so why should I continue on to Canaan now?

I didn't realize Canaan was so difficult to get to; I'll just stay here in Haran and train my children to go to Canaan.

Yes, the calling of God is difficult; it is even consuming. Don't let the enormity of the calling stop you from going. Philippians 4:13 tells me, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (NIV) If you believe that God has called you,listen to him.

Even if you have not heard your calling you know what God calls every disciple to be and do. He says "be holy because I am holy". He says, "Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as well". Our God has called you and me to "Go and make disciples". We all have a calling.

So you want a more personal calling from God? Pray fervently, study your Bible with an insatiable appetite for the heart and mind of God your Savior and have the heart you know he created you to have. Our God never leaves his beloved hanging.

"7 ¶ “Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 What man among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?
11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" Mt 7: 7 - 11 (HCSB)

Never give up! Keep on traveling on to the land of Canaan. Recognize Haran for what it is; it is only a distraction a detour from where you really want to go. God has called you to Canaan's land. Let's all move on together.