Friday, June 7, 2019

Threshing Floors

Recently, I proposed that if you want to have some biblical fun, you should trace the appearance of figs through the Scriptures. And that's absolutely true (and fun, for real). But if figs aren't quite your taste, here's another one for you: follow the threshing floors. 

Threshing floors are extremely important to God's story. The threshing floor was an open, flat space where a person would come and beat the grain in order to separate the wheat and the chaff, the good stuff from the bad stuff. Here, you'd end up with a pile of stuff to use and eat and a pile of stuff to burn. 

God found Gideon in a makeshift threshing floor, threshing grain in a winepress in order to hide from his enemies. It was from here that God launched him against Israel's opponents and secured him a great victory. It was here that Gideon tested God in the dew and the fleece and God showed up exactly as prayed for. 

It was on the threshing floor that the plague of God against His people stopped in the time of David. Remember this from not too long ago? David sinned, and God gave him options about how the Lord should punish this act, and David set Israel at the mercy of God's hand. God swept through, killing tens of thousands, but then a threshing floor. David then bought the threshing floor, built an altar, and offered sacrifices there. These are the sacrifices he insisted on paying for because he said he would not offer to God something that cost him nothing.

And then we come to Solomon. Solomon was David's son who was promised to build the Temple for the Lord among His settled people in the Promised Land. And build that Temple he did...

...on a threshing floor. 

Jesus tells us in the parable of the weeds and the wheat to let both grow together; the day is coming for the harvest, and it is at that point that the good will be separated from the bad. You'll be able to pick out what's usable and what's not. What's valuable and what's not. It's a metaphor for a good God who doesn't come down hard on a fallen world, but gives it the grace to grow together - the good and the bad - knowing that the day will come when He will separate the two. 

We read that and think, oh, yes. Yes, of course. That sounds exactly like the kind of thing that God would do. And then we essentially move on with our lives and sort of understand this and sort of don't. 

But when you see how often the threshing floor comes into the holy places in the Bible, if you follow God from threshing floor to threshing floor, if you look at just how frequently He shows up here, you understand how much this is an essential part of who He is. Of who we praise Him to be. 

So if you're looking for some biblical fun, follow the figs and the threshing floors. It's incredible. 

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