David & the Threshing Floor
I have been doing a study on the life of David, and the Lord has been pleased to show me something that I would like to share with you.
Background: In 2 Samuel 24, Satan incited David to take a census of the Hebrew army (which was no-no). After David counted the men, he was immediately remorseful. The Lord told Gad the seer to tell David that as punishment, he (David) must choose: 3 years of famine, 3 months of war, or 3 days of plague. David cried for the mercy of the Lord, and asked that the Lord choose because he could not. The Lord sent an angel with a sword of judgment to distribute the plague. When the angel reached the threshing floor of a man named Araunah, the Lord had compassion on Israel and commanded the angel to stop the plague. I Chronicles 21 says that David was able to see the angel as he approached the threshing floor. When the plague stopped, David went up to the threshing floor, and built an altar to the Lord. I Chronicles 22:1 says that the house of the Lord would be built at the threshing floor. In 2 Chronicles 3:1, it says that Solomon built the temple on Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared to his father David at the threshing floor of Araunah.
I thought the Mount Moriah reference seemed familiar (and no, not because of the street!)
So I looked it up in the concordance and saw a reference for Genesis 22. I turned there and saw that it was the story of Abrahamís test to sacrifice Isaac. Verse 2 says the Lord told Abraham to go to the region of Moriah to a mount that He would show Abraham. The Lord began to speak to me. He showed me that when the angel arrived at the threshing floor of Araunah, the Lord didnít see the threshing floor; He saw Abraham, willing to sacrifice the son of the Covenant. He remembered the Covenant. In remembering, He was moved to have compassion on Israel, the fruit of the Covenant. He looked at the threshing floor and remembered His mercy.
Then He showed me that He sees me the same way. When the Destroyer is roaming the earth with the sword of judgment and condemnation drawn, and reaches me, the Lord says, "Stop. That one is Mine. That one is covered by My mercy. You cannot touch her." The Lord encouraged me to not only see myself as a threshing floor of His mercy, but to see others the same way. As I walk through my day and encounter people and situations where I am tempted to draw the sword of judgment, the Lord tells me to stop and see them as a threshing floor, as an opportunity to display His mercy.
The more I pondered the wonder of the geography of the Lordís Purpose at Mount Moriah, the more I saw how significant the altars were. Abraham built an altar there to show the faithfulness of the Lord to provide a substitute sacrifice. David bought the threshing floor to build an altar to honor the mercy of the Lord to stop the judgment. I can just picture the Lord watching the angel mete out judgment on 70,000 Hebrews (I Chronicles 21:14). Then as the angel reaches the threshing floor, the Lord looks over and sees a small pile of rocks in the corner, and His heart is moved. He remembers the faith of Abraham and stops the plague.
Then, David insists that he will not build an altar to sacrifice to the Lord when it costs him nothing. He pays full price to Araunah for the land. This enables him to give the land to Solomon for the building of the temple. As king, David could have commandeered everything for the temple. But much of what he gave (see I Chronicles 29) was his own. He refused to take the easy way of giving lip service to the Lord. He would not dishonor all that the Lord had done and had promised to do by giving what was easy.
Some scholars who have studied Old and New Testament geography say that it is very possible that the site of Abrahamís sacrifice (and the threshing floor, and the temple) is the site of Golgotha, of the Cross of Christ. And knowing how purposeful and deliberate our God is, this would not surprise me in the least. The place where the Lord brought a substitute sacrifice for Isaac and showed mercy to His people of David foreshadowed the ultimate sacrifice and mercy through Jesusí death on the Cross.
I am amazed by the planning of the Lord. All of a sudden the words, "For I know the plans I have for youÖ to give you a hope and a future" are so much deeper. It is so comforting to know that He is sovereign, that the where, and when, and who are all a part of His plan, and are NOT by chance.
I have been convicted of 2 things:
One, to view otherís as a threshing floor of mercy, as an opportunity to extend compassion.
Two, I do not want to offer something to the Lord that costs me nothing. I want my life to reflect the sacrifice of Jesus always.
I would like to encourage all of you to really look for opportunities to sacrifice and to extend mercy where condemnation would be much easier. Remember that you too are a threshing floor of mercy, an evidence of Godís grace to man.
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