The Threshingfloor

1 Chronicles 21:18-30 says, “18Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD. 20And Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat. 21And as David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshingfloor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground. 22Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. 23And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. 24And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 25So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. 26And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. 27And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. 28At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 29For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. 30But David could not go before it to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD.”

2 Chronicles 3:1 says, “Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.”

At this point in time, David had sinned against God by numbering the people of Israel. As a result of his sin, God sent an angel to work in his judmgent, using a plague that would lead to the death of 70,000 men! In other words, God was very upset with David and the nation of Israel! However, God turned away His wrath as He would remember the covenant He had established with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Also, David had repented uto the LORD, and the angel stopped right at the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. The judgment of God was refrained from being executed at the threshingfloor, which definitely has great significance!

In Biblical times, threshingfloors were used to thresh wheat. According to the Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible, wheat, barley, and rye were threshed by being trampled by oxen, and then by using a fork to throw the straw up so the grain would fall to the ground (p. 503). This is how the wheat was separated from the chaff. This was an illustration that was used by John the Baptist concerning Jesus. Matthew 3:12 says, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” God’s judgment can be executed or stopped at the threshingfloor. It is the place where the wheat is separated from the chaff spiritually. In this place, we may sometimes feel as though we are walked all over to see what we are made of. Other times, we may be tossed into the air as a test to see whether or not we caught by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). Those who choose to be as wheat stand strong and are favored by God, whereas the chaff will not inherit eternal life. It is better to be authentic rather than a counterfeit!

After God’s wrath was turned away, David purchased the threshingfloor from Ornan at the full price, and there he built an altar to God where he would offer sacrifices unto Him. This would ultimately become the sight where Solomon would build a temple unto God! God chose and allowed His temple to be constructed at the threshingfloor because that is where the church is distinguished. It is at this location where we truly figure out who is on God’s side! God is searching for a people to be His church, but it is not those who want to resemble the wheat but are only the chaff. It is those who choose to be purged in the threshingfloor so that they can be transformed into His likeness and image!