NOW Abram trusted and believed God and set out. But then a strange thing happened. He started for the promised land of Canaan, and had gone about half the distance from where he started, when God suddenly stopped him short. Again we go to Genesis and read once again:
“They went out . . . from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there.” – Genesis 11:31.
Notice, that their goal was Canaan, the promised land of victory; but they came to Haran instead, only about half the distance to their destination. There they stopped, and as far we can determine, they spent approximately six years in this place of desolation, in reality, a wilderness. “Haran” means dry, or parched and fruitless. Canaan, on the other hand, stands for fruitfulness and for victory. Here in Haran Abram dwelt for six years. From the what can be gleaned from the writings, they were completely wasted years. There is no record that Abram built any altars there, or that he ever actually prayed. There is no record of any revelation or encouragement from God, no appearances of the Lord, no victory, no progress, no growth. What a picture for many a Christian who starts out with enthusiasm only to come to a dead standstill before he reaches the place of real victory. Instead of victory, he comes to the place where God must deal with him in judgment, as though he had never even known the Lord.
Yet, this circumstance that we read about is a very perfect example of a life that starts its journey of faith. There are times when God tests our resolve. Is this what He was doing with Abram? We don’t truly know, but we do know from experience that each and everyone that the Lord chooses to follow after Him, experiences these wastelands, as it were, these places of wilderness living.
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