Overcoming Tragedy is never Easy – And sometimes – it doesn’t happen.
Everyone is familiar with the Biblical story of Terah – hearing the voice of God telling him to leave his home and find the Land of Promise (Canaan).
It’s a great story. Terah became Teraham and is called the “Father of Israel”. It’s a story that inspires each of us to persevere and keep our vision in sight.
Oh! I’m sorry – that was Abram – wasn’t it? Yes, that’s right – Abram, who became Abraham and is called the “Father of Israel”.
But, then who was Terah?
How many of us know the story of Terah?
Hmmm – would you like to hear it? Ok. I’ll be short.
There once was a man called Terah. He lived in the land of Ur or the Chaldeans (that’s an ancient land over by Mesopotamia – what we’d call the Middle East today). Here, you can read the story yourself – you’ll find it in the Book of Genesis (that’s the first book in the Bible).
“Now these are the records of the generations of Terah..Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves… Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there…and Terah died in Haran.” Genesis 11:27-32 NASB
Well that’s it. That’s the story. What do you think?
Oh – you didn’t get it? Missed it? Here – let me help.
You see, in the first verse of the next chapter Abram hears the voice telling him to leave and go to the land of Canaan.
Terah was Abram’s father and he heard the voice first! He took his family and left the land of Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan.
But he didn’t make it. He died in the land of Haran.
Look at what happened – Haran, “died in the presence of his father…” Something happened that caused Terah’s son – Haran – to die right in front of him. We don’t know what it was, but, knowing the times it was then, there’s a good chance it was something violent – something bad – that gave Terah enough grief and pain, that when the ‘voice’ came telling him to go to Canaan – he left.
But, whether bad luck – or an evil presence – or whatever you may think it was, he journeyed through the land of Haran!
Did you get that? A land having the same name as his dead son had! And, it was too much for him to get over! It brought back all the pain and grief and he couldn’t leave. He settled in the land of Haran – he settled in his grief – in the memories of his dead son – and he died there.
He couldn’t get over the grief inside and because of that he never reached the land of Canaan. He never became the “Father of Israel”. The “call” went to his son, Abram, and he became the “Father of Israel”.
And tragedy and grief will find each of us at some time in our journey through life – and it’s a guarantee that somewhere – somehow – sometime – we’ll find ourselves in the land of Haran and forced to face it again.
Will we give up and die there?
Or will we gather ourselves together, face it and move on – and reach our vision – our land of Canaan?
Just remember – when you’re in the land of Haran – there is a land of Canaan. It’s waiting for you. You can reach it.
Until Next Time:
Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are