Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. And 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 Iscah. Now Sarai was barren; she had no child. 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 forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 11:27 – 12:3 | ESV
With the words, “This is the account of Terah” we now embark on the main story. The prelude of Genesis 1-11 is over, the preliminaries finished, the opening overture complete. The curtain has been raised, and now the play commences. The next “book” of Genesis launches the first act of Salvation’s Play, taking us through the story of Abraham (right up through Genesis 22).
For us, the introductory title can be misleading. “This is the account of Terah.” So Terah is the hero! He’s the one who will do it! After all the mess and sin and confusion, he is the one through whom God will bring redemption. He even has three sons just like Adam. Just like Noah. Yes, we recognize this pattern. We have seen this. We then watch Terah move his family, including his son Abram, the one with the barren wife (loser!), and he heads towards what we know is the Promised Land – center stage, yes!
We watch as Terah approaches center stage, poised for what we are sure will be a decisive moment in salvation history…and he dies.
Right before he gets there.
Has the play been stopped?
No, wait. It wasn’t Terah at all. Well, it was, but it wasn’t. It was his son. Which one? The one with the barren wife. The one with no kids. The one with the name filled with bitter irony and pain: Abram. “Exalted Father.” The father with no children. Yes, God says. That’s the one through whom I will do this.
Lekh lekha – Go, Abram, Go.
Journey on to the land I will show you. Nimrod the Rebel thought his name was great; humanity in building their pathetic tower thought they could make their name great, those builders who shall remain unnamed. But I will make your name great. Those who curse you I will curse; those who bless you I will bless. And everyone – every family, every tribe, every clan, every nation, every generation – everyone will be blessed through you.
Lekh lekha – Go, Abram, Go.
Leave the cities of man. Go to the land I will show you. And you will see it all go into motion through each step of faith you take.
Go on, Abram, Go.
And the exalted father with no kids steps onto center stage.
And the journey begins…
What lekh lekha “get going” moment have you faced in your life most recently when you were radically challenged to pick up and go when it really didn’t make much sense? What did you do?
Unseen God, loosen my grip on supposed on safe, secure and oh-so-visible supports and give me the courage to set my foot out the door into the wide world as you summon me to discover my own unseen land over this horizon of faith. Through Christ.