Abram’s folk were on a trip from Ur of the Chaldeans to Canaan.
But they stopped on the way…
They didn’t get to Canaan because they stopped in Haran.
The Bible says they settled there. (Genesis 11:31)
They were on their way to Canaan but they settled in Haran.
They took up residence there…
Blessings are great. We all want to be blessed. But, Proverbs 27:14 reminds us that it is not always the right time for even a blessing. In our text the sleeping may not want to be shaken out of a restful sleep to hear your loud pronouncements of blessing. Such blessings can easily be identified as a curse.
When it time for sleeping, let the one sleep. Sleeping has benefits and is a basic need for the human body. However, someone might feel the need to wake up the sleeper to give her a blessing.
We are always looking somewhere else. We are always pushing to go somewhere else. Life seems to be about planning for some event in the future. It might be graduation, wedding, anniversary, reunion, and yes even retirement. We look forward to the day we will be debt free or the day our kids move out the house or the day our kids come to visit or the day everybody gets in the same house for a holiday.
We look forward to going home after work and to some t show that has us hooked on a cliffhanger. We are always looking forward, always pushing forward. We always want more, to be more, to see more. pushing, longing, wanting for more or at least wanting something different than what we have now.
Thomas Merton said, “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” This reminds me of something that one of my seminary professors said in a sermon. He argued that the greatest temptation for most of us is not to do that which is wrong. Many of us have that temptation, but it is not the greatest one. He said, the greatest temptation is to do that which is “good” rather than that which is “great.”
Here the temptation is to stop because what you have accomplished is “good” or “good enough.” how many preachers do you know are stagnant in their preaching ministry. They are “good” but never go through the effort and pain to push on towards the fullness of God’s purpose. I am sure we all have fallen into that trap more than once in our lives. God may have given us a vision, but we stop for whatever reason. We then rationalize that what we are accomplishing is “good enough.”
Perhaps you have heard the song, “Lord Help Me To Hold Out.” It is a call for perseverance in the midst of the storms of life. It doesn’t ask for the removal of storms, but it only asks that God would help the singer to hold on until “my change” comes.
As the singer moves into the verses, we learn about the struggle. We learn about a way that is not easy, but there is a resolve to put one’s trust in God. Yes hold on. As I think about this song, I am struck by the fact that pains and problems are accepted as normal in this song. We will have difficult days in this life. We will have struggles in this life. We will find ourselves in situations that are almost unbearable. This song doesn’t sugar coat reality like we sometimes do.
No the song specifically says, “My way may not be easy, You did not say that it would be, but if it gets dark, can’t see my way, he told me to put my trust in thee.”
Darkness is a certainty. Darkness is a surety. In this world you will have trouble (John 16:33). The blessing is not in the removal of the darkness. That would be an unrealistic view for we all know about the pains of life.
But the key is that you can hold on. You will hold out. If you just ask the one who has brought you through to help you to hold on just a little while longer. For if you hold on, your change will come