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Abraham’s Long Journey to Canaan, Trusting God:

Has God ever taken you on the long route to a promised blessing or leading?  You could see a faster way, but instead off you went in almost the opposite direction. Maybe you are in the middle of one now.

Below is a quick summary of Abraham’s long-way-round journey from Ur to Canaan.

Let us know about your long journey (or journeys) in a comment, please.

The 11th chapter of Genesis tells us the story of the Tower of Babel and the journey of Terah along with his son Abraham with his wife Sarai and Terah’s grandson Lot. For reasons not specified in Genesis Chapter 11 of the Bible, they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans (present-day southern Iraq) to Canaan on the Mediterranean coast. We can only speculate as to why Terah did this but a peek at the location and political situation in Mesopotamia at that time would give us clues why he would take his family elsewhere.  (For a better picture of Bible events and location, refer to the Holy Land Map in conjunction with this article.)

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Ur was a place of upheavals and it was under constant attack from hostile neighbors during the time of the patriarchs, so leaving the city for a more peaceful land would have been a more feasible choice for Terah and his family. Another possibility is that Terah may have recognized and worshiped the true God while Ur was a city full of people who were devoted to the Sumerian moon god Nanna (or Sin in Akkadian). We can see a problem in their beliefs if this is the case which may have driven Terah and his family to leave Ur.

Shorter Desert Route versus Longer River Route

Whatever the reason, Terah never reached his original destination of Canaan and they settled instead in Haran (present-day southern Turkey) where he died.

If we look at the map of modern day Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, and Israel, a journey from east to west through the Arabian desert would have been the shorter route. Terah and his family, however, took the longer route by following the Euphrates river upstream towards Haran. This makes more sense rather than making the journey across a perilous desert.

External factors that may put their life at risk during the desert journey include a lack of reliable sources of water, intense heat, constant temperature changes, and unpredictable sandstorms. Lack of food can also be a problem in a sparsely vegetated land while dangerous insects and animals also pose a threat. Bandits preying on passing vulnerable caravans also endangered their lives. There may have also been established routes throughout Mesopotamia that followed the Euphrates, so northwards to Haran is the better and safer choice.

Traveling straight through the desert had many dangers.

Onward to Canaan

Abraham’s family settled in Haran for many years until Terah died at the age of 205, then God called Abraham to go and continue the journey to Canaan. We can only surmise as to what drove their family to settle in Haran temporarily (whether it’s the town’s prosperity or relative peace), but to uproot himself and his family from a familiar land to live in another which was inhabited by people whose customs and gods differ from his can be unsettling.

He was 75 years old at that time and moving was not an easy task especially in his age. But this time, the command to move to Canaan came with a blessing explicitly stated in Genesis 12:2-3. So he packed all their belongings and journeyed again, reaching Shechem in Canaan first, then the hills of Bethel, and finally south to the Negev.

Our Own Long River Route

Abraham was often held as one whose faith and obedience shined brightly among the other characters in the Bible. The material and spiritual blessings that followed his obedience were well-documented, and he is recognized as someone Christians should emulate in faith.

We also take journeys, literally and spiritually (just like Abraham) and make hard decisions that will significantly impact our lives. Making the right choices (such as who to marry or whether to move to another city to pursue a leading) takes a lot of faith in God. The question is do we trust God enough to lead us out of our Ur of the Chaldeans and take us to a better place which He promised us? Do we take the shorter yet perilous desert route or do we have the patience to take the longer river route? Do we trust in our own intelligence or do we seek God first for His word in our decision-making process?

In your life, has God led you to the longer river route and how did it become a blessing?  Comment below, please.

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14 thoughts on “Abraham’s Long Journey to Canaan, Trusting God:

  1. thank you. Very good.

    1. I’ve always felt a pull towards God. But instead I injured my back and got addicted to pain killers I lost my family and everything I hold dear in my life . That consumed me for 18 years. After living on the streets and hitting my rock bottom. I immediately went into treatment. I then had a friend that asked me to an Alpha course. Where I did the best thing. I asked Jesus into my life. I’ve been clean for almost three years. And my heart is in the Lord praise be to there.

      1. Wow ! What a testimony.
        Praise GOD!
        Trust that GOD who has pulled you out of the pit of addiction will continue to LIFT you UP day by day and you will be VICTORIOUS in YESHUA!
        David, Perth, WA.

      2. My Dear Brother Defnitely you will be see Miracles if youstay for god still

      3. Praise God he is great and greatly to be praised

      4. Thanks for your testimony. You are God’s child, and He will do anything to save you. Sometimes we choose the path which appears shorter, but it is indeed longer and we wonder why we have to struggle so much. But God never left us. He’s was always there waiting on us to follow Him for the blessings. Please continue in the faith and may the lives of many be touched by your post. God bless you Sir.

    2. After submitting to God I knew I had a lot to learn. I didn’t have to go far like Abram, but the lessons I learn about myself was something I would not wish on even the worst of mine enemies. Of course hind sight is 20/20. I didn’t realize how selfish I was throughout my youth and how my sins didn’t go unnoticed by God like I had thought. It had to be ,like Abraham, that I should trust God and now life is so much better. We should all be as Abram and go forward in faith, for God does provide and equip those who hear his ” STILL SMALL VOICE”.

  2. Good news. God bless you.

  3. Was saved at 10 years old and then led into the wilderness of the world for 40 years. At age 50, the Lord called me out of the world and then out of the church. The Lord allowed me to loose everything and ended in a van and traveling the country for 18 months on His provision alone. Broken ball joints, blown tires, weeks without food and then onto where I am now…awaiting direction for the next leg. Patience and truat…trust in the unbelievable have been the lessons so far.

    1. You’re right on. Every believer has to go through the fire when trusting God. Then we have a good witness.

  4. Abram was called out of Ur to go to a land he did not know according to Acts 7:2. Perhaps when he told his father, Terah, that the One true God had called him, his father took the reins and led them out of Ur. Terah was worshipping many gods at that time so it’s possible that he thought this was one of those many gods. We don’t know why God waited until Terah died to call Abram again but perhaps it was because Terah did not believe in the One True God. Abram is called a second time after his father dies in Harlan with promises of blessing given.

  5. I have always been making choices on my own, and notice that I keep making the same mistakes. However, regardless of my mistakes I have always felt that God has a special place in His heart for me. He always catches me when I’m about to fall. In October 2016 I decided to let go and let God, and I notice that I’m getting closer to the blessings He has for me. Following God’s instructions is indeed the safest and surest way to His blessings.

  6. God led me to retire early from my job. We were then forced to move from our hometown to an hour away. These 2 changes were some of the hardest things I’ve done in my entire life but God has definitely been in them. We’ve been here 4 years now and even though I still miss living at our old place, God is accomplishing incredible stuff in my life. We attend a great church, good friends and good fellowship. Now if covid would just end.

  7. In May 2020 on a Saturday morning I was getting into my car to go to the liquor store and I heard someone telling into my ears…DONT DRINK..GO HOME.The 4 words made me U turn..Was stunned,.clueless ..whats going on me..I’m a daily consumer alcohol last 54 years and suffering from parkinson and anxiety attacks which led me suicidal attempts few times.I did not drink that day and called my friend next day and explained also I said I’ve no cravings towards alcohol now.He said the holy spirit in you and you will never consume alcohol anymore.As he said I’m clean from that day onwards and my parkinson and anxiety attacks gone.Now I can write even draw paintings and helping people suffering from anxiety.Thanks Jesus my saviour.I ask jesus to teach me patience, humble,love and forgive others. I spend 2-3 hrs.with jesus daily praying and singing.Its a great joy. I regret wasted 54 years Thanks for giving me an opportunity to give my testimony. ….Glory to the father who has created me…Glory to the son who has Redeemed me…Glory to the Holy Spirit who has sanctified me………….Thanks in Jesus

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