Threshing Floor

 

Oxen thresh grain with hooves and men separate kernels from straw.
Oxen thresh grain with hooves and men separate kernels from straw.

גֹּרֶן

goren

from an unused root meaning to smooth; a threshing-floor (as made even); by analogy, any open area:—a barn-, corn-, threshing- floor, a threshing-, void- place before the gates of a city

Freshly harvested grain was thrown into a large pile in the very center of the floor.  It was then hand raked onto the area of the floor where the oxen would walk around and around, breaking the husks away from the actual grain. This area was called the threshing floor.  It was flat and hardened by the passing of oxen over the sheaves, sometimes pulling a sled designed to separate the grain from the husks, the tares (weeds, false grain) from the wheat.  Afterwards, the stalks and grain were thrown up into the air (winnowing) so that the wind would blow the unwanted chaff away, leaving the kernels.

The threshing floors were also important places and were often used as landmarks.  Men and royalty often sat in the gates of a city, often on or near a threshing floor.

And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.  1 King 22:10

The words, threshing floor, is one word in the King James version of the Bible.  In looking up the Hebrew, we find the same word, goren, is for both threshing and for floor.  Thus, translating the Hebrew into English gives us threshingfloor as one word.  Other versions of the Bible separate the two words but translate them individually from the one word, goren.

Joseph, with his kinsmen and Egyptian followers, halted for seven days at the threshing floor of Atad to lament the death of Jacob.

When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days.  Genesis 50:10

Travelers might welcome a threshing floor to stop for the night as the hard, level spot would be preferable to surrounding stony fields for tents.

David bought a threshing floor to build an altar to the LORD.

1 Then satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. … 7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. …  18 Then 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 (Araunah) the Jebusite.  …  20 Now Ornan was threshing wheat.  He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price.  I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 25 So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. 26 And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. … 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there.   1 Chronicles 21:1, 7, 18, 20, 24-26, 28

Have we felt that something is worth more to us when it is bought and paid for by our earnings?  Do we take things for granted when they are given to us for nothing?  Is more value placed upon that which we buy, whether by money, labor, or things traded?

This same piece of property was to be where God’s Temple was to be built by Solomon.

1 Then David said, “Here shall be the house of the Lord God and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” …  7 David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars.  You shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood before Me on the earth. Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies.  For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name.  He shall be My son, and I will be his Father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’  11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as He has spoken concerning you.   1 Chronicles 22:1, 7-11

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 threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.  2 Chronicles 3:1

Mount Moriah is where Abraham sacrificed his son, Isaac, to God.

He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  Genesis 22:2

Threshing floors were places of judgment:

Rejoice not, O Israel!  Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God.  You have loved a prostitute’s wages on all threshing floors.  Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail them.  Hosea 9:1-2

But they do not know
    the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand His plan,
    that He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor Micah 4:12

Threshing floors were places of blessings as well.  Sheave offerings were laid there to the Lord.

And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you.  And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed.  Joel 2:24-26

Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.  But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.”  And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”  Ruth 3:3-5  So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife.  And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.  Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowned in Israel!  Ruth 4:13-14

 

Jesus bought me by His blood.  I am forgiven and paid for by the High Priest with His life.  I am to be winnowed, ridding me of the chaff.


His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” 
Matthew 3:12

Have I felt that something is worth more to me when it is bought and paid for by the sacrifice of my LORD?  Is more value placed upon that which has been purchased for me by the sacrifices of Jesus?  Is the gift of forgiveness of the debt I cannot pay and for which I owe such that I am so humbled?

 

LORD Jesus, I thank You for the love You have for me, for redeeming me.  You have blessed me beyond anything I could imagine.  I know that a day will come for my judgment.  I also know of Your forgiveness of this child.  I want to continue to be winnowed for I desire to become more pure for You with each day.  I want the chaff to be blown away, then burned.  I want only the kernels to be left so that I may make You a loaf of bread.  I know You are the Bread of Life, yet I want to give You this gift from my heart.  How can I really thank You, Jesus?  You have done so very much for me.  I am humbled with gratitude.  Thresh me on Your threshing floor, my LORD.  Separate the weeds and husk from the very grain of me.  Winnow me to purity, to wholeness, LORD, for I want to be wholly Yours.  In Your beautiful Name, I pray.  Amen.   

 

bwdarkgreen sig

Chaff

God looked upon the Israelites and called them to be His special people, His own.  Over and over again, He told them, I am the Lord thy God.  The first three commandments God gave to Moses for His children, in Exodus 20, are:

“I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  

“You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”  Exodus 20:2-5

Even with these commandments carved in stone, the Israelites had idols and worshiped them, not just once, but many times.  Their reasons for doing this spoke of their disobedience to God.  God could not turn away from their sin.  He would judge their iniquities and bring punishment.  If the current generation died, having never received punishment for their sins, the children or grandchildren, even beyond, would be the ones punished for the iniquities of their ancestors.

winnowing

 Therefore they shall be like the morning mist
or like the dew that goes early away,
like the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor
or like smoke from a window.  Hosea 13:3

מֹץ

mots

blown away by the wind

Chaff is the part of grain that is beaten out (winnowed) before taking up the wheat, rye, barley, etc., to make into flour.  Chaff does not become part of anything we eat.  It is threshed up and into the air, taken away from the wheat by the wind and then burned.

Although the children of God were disobedient at times, in the natural world, they might have thought that the morning clouds would bring rain to their parched lands, but the rain did not always come.  When the early dew settled upon the grass, it often would be evaporated by the hot sun, leaving no moisture for the earth.  Finally, this passage says they are as the smoke, presumably offensive, quickly dissipated into the air.  God saw the children as the chaff when they disobeyed, light and not worth keeping.  He would have to winnow them as wheat, being driven away from the threshing floor.

agri-wheat-winnowing

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”   Matthew 3:11-12

ἄχυρον

achyron

a stalk of grain from which the kernels have been beaten out

straw broken up by a threshing machine, chaff

Jesus tells us that one day, He will come to the threshing floor to separate the wheat from the chaff.  There will be a purging.  The last judgment will consist of winnowing—distinguishing doctrines and works, saints and sinners.  There will be some, maybe many, among us who look like wheat yet are chaff.  There may be those in the church who believe they are “good enough” and that this winnowing does not apply to them.  It is not our works or how good we are that, alone, are counted, but do our hearts belong to Jesus?  The heart must be completely His.  The soul must seek God Who calls.  The body, mind, and soul must draw near to God for He will draw near to us.  Jesus teaches us that He will gather His wheat after winnowing all of us on the threshing floor.  The true believers are valuable and useful, ones made of substance, whereas those who would be considered the chaff are useless, worthless to His Kingdom, light and able to be carried about in the wind to doctrines and to people who are not of the One and Only True God.

so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 
Ephesians 4:14

Chaff

The chaff will be burnt up.

At the time of winnowing/judgment, the wheat will be brought into the barn where the true believers will be safe, together, completely separated from all that is not of God, and will be purified.

wheat

We live together in this world, the wheat and the chaff, and must discern the difference.  Which am I? is a question needed to be asked.

Father God, I pray that as I walk the remainder of my days here on this earth, I will be as wheat to You and not as chaff.  May I not be easily blown away as I once was.  I am so grateful to You, LORD, for forgiving me of my sins and my disobedience.  I so desire to be worthy of You.  May I be of use to You in this world now and always forever after.  Use me as I am, growing me as I learn from You.  May my presence in this world be of value to Your Kingdom now.  I so love You and want to walk worthy of You in my speech, my behavior, my actions, through who I am and in the ways others see me.  I want to grow more and more into the image of Christ, Your Son.  Guide me and teach me in ways You want me to go, LORD.  I pray in the powerful Name of Jesus.  Amen.

beblacksig

My Spirit Faints Within Me

Fainting

The word “faint(s)” in Psalm 142 and 143 seemed unusual as I read these Psalms.  We read 142 one evening and then 143 the next and there that word was again.  So I decided to look it up and see where God would lead me.

When my spirit faints within me,
You know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.  Psalm 142:4

When my spirit grows faint within me,
    it is you who watch over my way.
In the path where I walk
    people have hidden a snare for me.  NIV

When I am afraid,
    you, Lord, know the way out.
In the path where I walk,
    a trap is hidden for me.   NCV

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me,
You knew my path.
In the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.  NASB

Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled Psalm 143:3

Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart is desolate within me.  NASB

Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart within me is distressed.  NKJV

So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed.  NIV

My spirit is weak within me; my heart is overcome with dismay.  HCSB

עָטַף

`ataph

(aw-taf’)

a primitive root; to shroud, i.e. clothe (whether transitive or reflexive); hence (from the idea of darkness) to languish:—cover (over), fail, faint, feebler, weak, hide self, be overwhelmed, swoon

David reminds me that I may become overwhelmed with fears, with darkness, with frustration, with a variety of emotions, with the things that are happening all around us…in our country and world.  A mind can become oppressed from the inside, while outward troubles can bring on these fears as well.   Matthew Henry states in his Commentary, “It is sometimes the lot of the best men to have their spirits for a time almost overwhelmed and their hearts desolate, and doubtless it is their infirmity.  David was not only a great saint, but a great soldier, and yet even he was sometimes ready to faint in a day of adversity.” *

I have not literally fainted to the ground, but the fears and emotions have overtaken me over and over during my life.  It is just human for most of us, I believe.  Yet, David reminds me that, although, the likes of Saul, Absalom, armies of many sorts may be holding us captive, reaching out to God is the answer.  God listens.  He hears our prayers.  God knows where we are…physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.  He watches our backs.

Jonah calls out to God ~

When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to You,
into Your holy temple.  Jonah 2:7

Jonah knew that God was with him.  He desired to be close to his LORD.

David also knew just Who to call upon and Who would hear him.  These men praise God for His faithfulness and His protection.  I can sense the love of God through their words too.  I know God is near.  I know He is with me.  I know these truths.  Teach me more, my Father. 

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;

from the end of the earth I call to You
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,

for You have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy.

Let me dwell in Your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of Your wings!  Selah  Psalm 61:1-4

Father God, You are my Refuge, my Shelter when I become afraid of the future, of growing older, serious family illnesses, the violence in our country and in our world.  Father, my heart feels weak and weary sometimes.  You know how things affect me.  Yet, there is only one answer to any darkness of heart or mind…You are that Answer.  I call upon Your Name and You hear me, my Father.  You treat me with love and care.  You nestle me near to Your breast and I know comfort.  I know love.  I know gentleness.  I know You…more and more with each day.  Oh, how grateful I am, my Father.  Thank You for teaching me the Truth in Your Word.  Thank You for healing my faint and stumbling heart.  I want to walk in Your ways and only those.  I fail and yet You forgive this child.  I desire to walk uprightly.  Guide me, LORD.  I love You so.  How can I love You more yet I do with the passing of each day.  I pray in the Truth of Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

Illustration of heart with heartbeat, electrocardiogram. Vector illustration

beblacksig

 

* from “Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalm 143”

Hear

hearing God

No matter what the world looks like through our human eyes, God knows the Truth. He knows all.  No matter whether we think He is listening to us, responding to us as we pray, He is doing so according to His will.

He is Omniscient.  He is Omnipotent.  He is Omnipresent.

I call out, “Hear me, O God.”  Consider and hear me O LORD my God;… Psalm 13:3a

Do You call to me so that I listen to You?  

“Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me!”  Psalm 81:8

You are Omnipresent, always with and before me.  Your Word is before me.  Your grace surrounds me.  Your mercy rains upon me. 

You are Omniscient, all knowing.  You see all.  Nothing is hidden from You, Father, even that which is hidden in our hearts.  You know.

You are Omnipotent, all-ruling, almighty. You have authority over all, my Heavenly Father.

Too often I do not hear You because I am making noise, asking, begging, telling.  I desire to sit before You, but I get busy and forget.  I am sorry.

What I need is…

quiet

stillness

calm

tranquility

peace 

openness

desiring to hear the One and only One.

“Hear me, O LORD; hear me that this people may know that You are the LORD God and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”  1 Kings 18:37

Listening — hearing …

Your tender love speaking to my heart

Your Word to me personally on the pages of the Holy Bible

Your still, small voice clear and beautiful, quiet and sweet into my ear

Listening is loving so much that I am calm and still, waiting.  

Your wisdom sails into my being and stays.

Hearing is having ears and a heart open that I may use Your wisdom as I walk with You.

I want to listen; I want to hear — so much so that Your voice becomes a piece of me that naturally flows in and through, a non-ending stream.  I desire You, My LORD.

… “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe.”  Acts 15:7b

openBible

Obedience walks with listening.  How can I be listening if I am not obeying You? 

Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey… Deuteronomy 6:3a

Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, … Deuteronomy 12:28a

  

I am … I want to be…

a listener

a hearer

an obedient child 

that God has called me to be.  

I believe.

“Whoever is of God hears the words of God….  John 8:47a

bwturq sig

Picture 1:  http://www.hem-of-his-garment-bible-study.org/hearing-from-god.html

Picture 2:  https://onepassiononedevotion.wordpress.com/tag/hearing-gods-voice/