A Peculiar Family

Read: Genesis 11:27-32

Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. (v. 27)

What an uninspiring introduction to one of the Bible’s grandest stories! You might also find some of it rather curious. Terah’s three sons, for instance. Why is “Abraham” spelled “Abram”? Isn’t Haran the name of a town? And as for Nahor, did he actually marry his own niece? Yes, he did. Odder still, we learn later that Abraham’s wife was his own half sister. Isn’t that illegal, or immoral, or both? Did they live in a very crude, uncivilized society?

Not really. Their technology may have been primitive, but in fact Abraham appears on the stage of history more than half way along the time line of human civilization. Abraham’s culture and way of life was very different from mine. God planned all along to reveal what he is like, and what his principles are for the way of life he designed for the human race. But he was going to do it gradually.

God’s blueprint for marriage was just one example of all the things people had been misunderstanding ever since the days of Adam and Eve. Abraham didn’t get that quite right, but it would eventually become clear. The question for Abraham was, would he act on something else God was going to make clear to him there and then? —Michael Wilcock

As you pray, ask God to make you more concerned with what God has shown us than what God hasn’t shown us.

About the Author

Rev. Michael Wilcock was formerly director of pastoral studies at Trinity College, Bristol, and vicar of St. Nicholas' Church, Durham. He is now based in Eastbourne, England, as a writer and speaker.