27 This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. 28 And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
Genesis 11:27-31, NKJV
Genesis 11:10-26 give us a genealogy of the descendants of Shem (the son of Noah). The genealogy stops with Terah. Each verse has continued with the next descendant and the next. Then, verse 27 begins a narrative which will continue on in Genesis for several chapters.
Eight generations after Shem, we are told that Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Although this only takes up a few verses in the book of Genesis, think about it for a minute. Eight generations! How many of us can go back eight generations? We realize, then, that several hundred years have passed since the flood.
Because we are familiar with Abram, we know that God has stopped here for a reason. Beginning with Abram (later to become Abraham), we find that God will enter into a special covenant with Abram and his descendants. Spiritually, though maybe not physically, believers today are also descendants of Abraham.
The verses we are looking at today in Genesis 11 give us some background information about Abram and his family. We find that Abram had two brothers, Nahor and Haran. Abram took a wife (Sarai), but Sarai was barren. Of course, we understand the significance of this as we go on in the chapter. We see that God, in His providence, gave Sarai a son in her old age--exactly as He had planned since before time began.
The family lived in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram's father took Abram, his grandson Lot (the son of Haran who had died), and Sarai, Abram's wife, and moved the family to the land of Canaan. (We can already see God working in a special way in the life of this family, can we not?) I am sure that Terah had no idea that it was actually the hand of God working in his life to move the family, but we know from the rest of the narrative that this is true.
Genesis 11 then ends with the death of Terah, the father of Abram. So, here we find Abram, removed from the country in which he was raised, and moved to the land of Canaan. With his father's death, he is now the head of this family, including his nephew, Lot.
As we read through these verses we see the over-arching theme of God working and moving in the hearts of people to accomplish His holy purposes. None of these people even knew God at this time, for they were from a land which had worshiped idols. We see God's hand in preparing Abram for the years ahead. God will reveal Himself to Abram at a time when he is not surrounded by a people who worship the idols he had served in his youth.
Does God work this way in our lives today? When we make major decisions--especially if it involves a move to a new location away from friends and family--do we comprehend that it is really God who is moving us? We are so accustomed to making choices, that often we forget that God is continually moving in our lives in such a way that He is accomplishing His will with the decisions we make.
We all have a tendency to look back at our lives and ask, "what if?" What if I had made the other choice twenty years ago? How would my life be different?
As believers, that is not a question we really should ask. We understand that often we made what would seem to be exactly the wrong decision, especially if it led to devastating events in our lives. However, if we truly understand God's sovereignty in the lives of His people, we know that nothing was a mistake. Often God leads us through very dark waters so that we may learn to love and trust Him. As He shows us His great care and love in leading us through the dark times, we begin to understand that all we are and hope to be are a result of His watch care in our lives.
Do you think Abram looked back and said, "What if we had never left Ur of Chaldees?" Perhaps he had days such as that, but in the end, Abram grew in his relationship with God. He discovered that this God whom He served was a living God who actively moved in Abram's life. God loved him, guided him, and protected him all of the days of his life.
Do we have that confidence in this God we serve? Let us pray that God would grant to us a peace and confidence in His care in our lives. Though we do not understand many things that happen in our lives, may we find great peace in yielding to His will. May we live this life in a manner pleasing to God as we look forward to that great day to come when we will go to live with Him forever!
What an amazing God we serve!
God Bless You,