Terah Was Called Before Abraham
by Phil Weingart
(South Dennis, MA)
The account does not say so directly, but it appears that Terah was called before Abraham. The author of the Genesis account is sparse with detail, and includes only what is crucial to the story.
Gen 11:31 tells us that Terah set out for Canaan. The account tells us that Terah's son, Haran, died in his arms in Ur. When Terah interrupts his journey, it is at the home of his son, Haran's, family. He never leaves. Most likely, then, Terah was heartbroken over the loss of his son and could not continue once he encountered his son's family.
If Terah had been less wounded over his loss, or more callous, we might be celebrating the faith of Terah today. But we're not. Abraham was called to fulfill his father's destiny, and it is his obedience we are celebrating. I am sure Terah was accepted by God, but he fell far short of his calling.
The lesson is to obey God even when wounded, or one may never completely fulfill one's destiny.