Genesis 11 – Distractions

Having gone through the preceding chapters of Genesis, and now coming to chapter 11 i have found myself appreciating the little things.  In ch. 5 was Adam’s genealogy.  It was long and somewhat annoying, but overall it was nice and structured.  In chapter 10 were the genealogies of Ham and Japheth.  They were not so structured.  They are actually rather sporatic.  It made for a much more difficult copying / transferring process.  Other, non-genealogical chapters are like that as well (ch. 9 for instance).  Then we come to Genesis 11.  The genealogies are nice and structured and easy to follow, with only the details being overly different.  It may make for a boring read, but it definitely makes for a much easier transfer.

So now we come to the chapter on the Tower of Babel, and… i’m not really going to talk about it.  It’s interesting and adds some great aspects and dynamics to the history, but i want to focus more on the end of the chapter.

Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran.  They were living in Ur of Chaldeans, presumably because they were from that family.  At one point, for some unknown reason Haran, Abram’s younger brother died in his fathers arms.  We don’t know the circumstances or reasons for this, whether it was due to disease, an accident, murder, or something else, but it appears that it may have put some things in motion.  At some point after Haran’s death, Terah packs up the family (including his sons and their wives) to move them all to the land of Canaan.

We don’t know if this was because of a possible threat to the family (hence Haran’s death), natural disaster (disease, famine, flooding, etc.), God simply telling Terah to go there (like He does to Abram in ch. 12), or for some other reason.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they never make it.  They stop halfway at a place called “Haran” (coincidence?  I think not).

Whenever i read this passage, i have to wonder; Did the Lord send Terah to Canaan directly, as He did with Abram after him?  Why did he not complete the journey?  Now, understand that this is my opinion and not necessarily scripture, but i honestly believe that God did send Terah.  I also believe that by stopping halfway instead of finishing the course he lost out on the blessing that his son received instead.  What if instead of the patriarchs being Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they were Terah, Abram, Isaac, and Jacob?

So that leads to the question.  Are we following God’s directions to us, or do we stop halfway?  Are we missing out on God and His blessings because we aren’t finishing (or maybe even starting) what He calls us to do?  Will our children have to complete what we were unwilling to because we couldn’t see things through to the end?  What kind of legacy are we leaving?

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Filed under Bible, Genesis, Old Testament, Torah

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