31 One day Terah took his son Abram, his daughter-in-law Sarai (his son Abram’s wife), and his grandson Lot (his son Haran’s child) and moved away from Ur of the Chaldeans.  He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there. 32 Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran.

Genesis chapter 11, verses 31 and 32; from the New Living Translation (NLT)

Today’s musings are some excerpts from this past Sunday’s message and the Spirit told me to share some of it with you today. The Key Theme for this message was all about Faith. The Big Idea I wanted to share was this: The Promise Of God Is Not Found Where We Settle, But Where We Leave Everything Behind And Live By Faith. And though I was focused on Hebrews 11 (and what better book and chapter to talk about faith than Hebrews?) and Abraham–I was drawn back in time to Abraham’s father, Terah.

At the core of our walk with Jesus is Faith.  Without Faith, there is no walk.  And if we are going to talk about Faith, well, Hebrews 11 is a great place to start—and Abraham is the model we need to understand—and to follow.  Let’s focus on this question:  What Exactly Is Faith? defines it this way:  Belief In God Or In The Doctrines Or Teachings Of Religion”. 

That’s the way a lot of people see faith—that we believe God exists, that Jesus is God’s Son and Savior of the world, and what we believe about the doctrines of the church.  If this is the case, then Satan has Faith.  But when the writers of the Bible talk about faith, it’s not in the beliefs about God or Jesus or doctrines.  It’s much more.  For the writers of the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament, the word they used for Faith was “Pistis” and it means:  Conviction Of The Truth”.  It’s not “doctrine”, not the “what we believe”—it’s all about conviction of The Truth. 

Think of the difference between faith as the things we believe versus faith as conviction of the truth in this way:  It’s Opinion Versus The Certainty Of The Truth.  Opinions are what we hold—all of us have opinions.  Convictions are what grab us and hold us tightly, regardless of what happens around us—and it’s rooted in the Truth. Now more about Terah. It was just a few years ago that I discovered this part of the Covenant Story. For years I hadn’t seen this part. And it was an eye opener for me.

Now get this:  God Gave The Vision To Terah And Terah Set Out Following That Vision.  There’s a tragedy in the life of Terah that’s so very clear when our eyes, mind and heart are open to it.  “He was headed for the land of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there.”  Terah was heading into God’s future, to The Promised Land but Terah stopped at Haran and settled there.  What Have You Settled For Instead Of God’s Promise?  As tragic as it was for Terah to settle for Haran instead of The Promise, the worst tragedy for Terah is Verse 32:  “Terah lived for 205 years and died while still in Haran.”  If Terah had died while headed towards The Promise, there would be no tragedy. 

The tragedy was:  He Died While Still In Haran, The Place He Substituted For The Promise.  The Bible tells us that Terah lived for 205 years—more than enough time to settle in The Promised Land.  If Terah had not settled for Haran, then we would have read this morning about the Faith of Terah instead of the Faith of Abraham.  Terah settled in Haran and died there instead of moving into God’s Promised Land.  Let this thought sink in:  He Died Where He Settled

When Terah settled on Haran, God chose another for the Promise—Abraham.  The Vision was now given to someone else.  And I believe God still works this way.  The lesson Terah teaches us is this:  Don’t settle for Haran when The Promise is in front of us. I would love to give credit where credit is due, but I cannot recall where I saw this:  When We Stop Trusting, We Start Rusting. Faith is expressed through our trust and in our obedience.

And my greatest concern for others, is that they have Settled for their own Haran rather than moving towards and into God’s Promise. Especially my former Tribal Members of the United Methodist Church. Some just want to settle outside the United Methodist Institution. But God has more than just disaffiliation for you. And if you have settled on some other Haran (like fear, addiction, complacency, or any of a million and one other “Haran’s), my word to you is this: Don’t Settle! God has more for you. Do you realize that if Terah hadn’t settled, we would be reading about the faith of Terah, rather than the faith of Abraham? Think about it!



  1. Brother Randy, this post brings to mind a number of issues I’d like to comment on. First of all, where did you learn that it was God who motivated Terah to head for the promised land? We have Abram’s call recorded, but not his father’s, unless I missed it. Secondly, what you refer to as faith in doctrines truly cannot save anyone. Sadly this type of faith is preached in many churches. It’s faith in something, not faith in Someone, which requires a relationship. Lastly, I hope I’m wrong, but I fear that many of the disaffiliating churches may be doing so, simply to possess their own assets. This reason alone will not bring about the next Great Awakening. There must be some radical changes to the congregational culture itself. Business as usual just won’t cut it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chapter 11 of Genesis said Terah set out for Canaan–but settled in Haran. Why else would he go unless he was being sent there. That’s a major migration–one someone wouldn’t take without a really good reason. Why else even mention Terah? Terah didn’t have a story to tell–other than settling in Haran.


      1. Brother Randy, I’ll admit that I’m no expert on the migratory patterns and causes of ancient Near Eastern peoples, so I have no idea why Terah chose originally to migrate to Canaan. I do know that prior to the Tower of Babel the majority of the human population in defiance of God’s will, chose not migrate from area of the Chaldeans. After that we’re not told what motivated some to migrate to certain areas, that only now, they could no longer communicate. I figure that if the reasons for where they finally settled down were germane to the overall story of God’s plan of redemption, restoration and reconciliation, it would have been revealed in the scriptures. I’m in agreement with the main point of your post in that if we’re not willing to follow God’s call on our lives, we’re going to miss out on the blessings that follow obedience.

        Liked by 1 person

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