In Genesis chapter 12, the story of Abram (later Abraham) and his descendants begins. It is a story of God calling out a people, a community, a model of His Kingdom on earth, for Himself. It is the same love story God had with Adam and creation; a people to be set apart for Himself, to love Him with all their hearts, souls and minds.
God calls Abram (Genesis 12:1-3) to leave his country, his people and his father's household and to go to a land that God would show him. Abram didn't know where that land was. He didn't know what that land looked liked. But he knew God and knew that God was good and choosing anything else would be foolish. Here is a Kingdom truth that we have already pointed out but is worthy of repeating: choose God's way, you choose life; choose your own way, and you choose something much less than what God has planned for you.
I have often wondered about Abram's father, Terah. The Bible says (Genesis 11:31-32) that Terah took his whole family and "set out from Ur in the land 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."
Did God call Terah to go to Canaan? We don't know but it seems that for some reason, Terah had his heart set on going to Canaan. But the Bible tells us that when they came to Haran they settled there.
I'm not sure what kind of life Terah had. He obviously was a good man. He seems to have taken care of his grandson, Lot, after Lot's father, Nahor, died. He also raised a pretty good son in Abram. But it seems sad to me that the set out for the promised land but settled on Haran. There could be many reasons why: sickness, old age, he was tired, or maybe Terah just found that he liked Haran. I hesitate to think that maybe, for whatever reason, he settled for less than the best: God's plan.
In our lives, it is easy to go through the motions. It is also easy to make the comfortable choices. It is too easy to rely on our own understanding and interpretation of things. I think that sometimes I settle for Haran when Canaan is really where God wants me to be.
To quit looking and judging just with my own eyes, my own values and seeing things through eternity and God's Kingdom, wouldn't that be radical? Maybe I would then quit deciding to settle in Haran and move on to God's promised land...
Next, the promise to Abram...