Journey to Canaan

Teena Myers
Teena Myers

Genesis 11:32 NAS95 The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran.

Whatever the reason for Abram’s disobedience to separate from his father’s house, one thing is clear. God had not called Terah to go to Canaan, and under his leadership, they never made it to the promised land.

Terah led his family along the Euphrates River for 600-miles and stopped when they reached Haran. They may have stopped to rest and resupply before crossing the Euphrates for the 400-mile journey to Canaan, but Terah decided to stay. The Bible does not tell us why. It’s possible he was weary of traveling, and the financial opportunities of living on a major trade route between southwestern Asia and the Mediterranean Sea gave him a reason to abandon the pursuit of God’s city built on foundations of righteousness and justice. Like the seed sown among thorns in Jesus’ parable “the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things” choked the word of God.

Terah helped his son make his first unsteady step of faith. Often “the flesh” that makes it difficult for us to enter the perfect will of God for our lives are people who we look up to, respect, and want to please. They may be good people who love us. But they are just people incapable of loving us like God does. They want what is good for us, but their good is in the way of God’s good.

God told Abram to separate from his father’s house, so why did he follow Terah to Canaan?

Romans 8:5NIV Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Abram knew what God, who is Spirit [1]desired, but he had his mind set on the things that Terah, his flesh father, desired. As a result, when Terah abandoned the journey, so did Abram.

God had repeatedly said the word “bless” to Abram—a positive but vague word. How would God bless him and make him a blessing? How would his family become a great nation? How would all the families of the earth be blessed? And can he really trust this God? The pagan gods were just as immoral as the people who worshipped them. A God you can trust would be a new concept to a pagan.

Abram had no greater advantage than believers of any generation have.

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 AMP (11) When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. (12) For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].

At this point in Abram’s walk with God, he still thinks and reasons like a child. He has a fragment of who God is, what God desires to give him, and what God wants him to do. Consequently, God is an enigma to him.

Abram is not the father of our faith yet. He was learning what it means to have faith one step at a time. His faith has barely taken root. That made the influence of the flesh, which he could see, hear, and touch, stronger than the influence of the unseen God…until the flesh died, Terah’s flesh.

God’s gifts and calling are irrevocable. For fifteen years, God’s Spirit of adoption within Abram cried, “Abba, Father,” and the call of God tugged at his heart. The natural everyday occurrences of life, like death, initially moved Abram one step closer to the perfect will of God.

Terah died in Haran. His death left a void in Abram’s life for a father. Without a father of flesh to guide him, Abram turned his eyes to his spiritual father. God’s promises imparted hope that positive things would happen to everyone if he obeyed. But there was only one way to obtain the blessings. Continue the journey to Canaan in search of the eternal city built on the foundations of justice laid by God.


[1] John 4:24

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