January 03, 2011

Restless Hearts

Genesis 11:1-9, 27-32

They set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there.
Genesis 11:31


After God confused the language of proud Babel, people clustered around their patriarchs and practiced their own customs. There was no shared worship of the true God. Instead of turning to the Creator, people followed petty gods of self- interest.

A Chaldean named Terah left the bustling city of Ur and set out for a new life in Canaan. Why was he restless? What was he hoping to accomplish?

But Terah never got to Canaan. He settled in Harran. Perhaps he became stuck between a yearning for something more and a yearning for what once was. He had buried one of his sons back in Ur. Another son, Nahor, was named after Terah’s father. Nostalgia tends to keep people on a short leash. Or perhaps it was the lure of wealth. The pasturelands around Harran may have looked promising for Terah’s descendants. Whatever the reason, the Bible tells us that Abraham’s father settled for something short of his earlier goal.

Take some time to read also the list of names in Genesis

11: “From Shem to Abram.” It may seem dull, but behind the names are real people. Each generation had its own dreams, conflicts, and compromises. It’s no different today. Only the Lord can show us the way to calm our restless hearts.

God of Abraham, we trust what you’ve done to give us abundant life through your Son, Jesus, who descended from Abraham. Help us to tell others that no one need settle for less. Amen.

About the author — Norm Prenger

Rev. Norm Prenger is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in Alberta and British Columbia before he was disabled by a heart attack and a post-operative stroke. He now lives with his wife, Gwen, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He enjoys fishing, writing, drumming, and encouraging his fishing partners and neighbors to follow Jesus.

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