In 2 Sam , chapter 24 we see a very interesting story. King David has decided to take a count, a census of the people. There is a controversy over who actually inspired him to do this, but I am not interested in that part of the story right now. So David sends out Joab, who protests, but does it anyway. He comes back and tells David the number. This brings down the wrath of God and there are three possible punishments laid before David by the Lord through the prophet. David chooses a plague rather than seven years of famine or to run before His enemies. He figures that it is best to be in the mercies of God and hope that the Lord relents.
As the angel of death goes about his business, David is completely broken over his sin. He cries out to the Lord in anguish and asks that the Lord punish him directly. This is the heart of David. In His mercy, God had spared Jerusalem, the city of David, and now in His mercy He would hear his servant David. It is fascinating that the hand of the angel is stayed at the threshing floor of Araunah. What is a threshing floor? It is a place where wheat is crushed and it separates the straw from the kernal. The hard outer surface of David is certainly crushed and broken as he cries out in despair as he sees the damage that his sin has caused.
Perhaps you are living with the consequences of actions that did not honor God. Your outright sin has caused great pain and agony to people all around you. In your pride and arrogance you have brought calamity upon yourself and your family and the people that you love. Here we see the heart of David who is now ready to take full responsibility for his actions........17: Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people and said "Surely I have sinned and I have done wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? Let your hand I pray, be against me and against my fathers house."
Undoubtedly David's sinful actions has brought calamity down upon his people , but just as surely as his sin has caused this destruction, then his recognition of his sin, his contrite and broken heart will bring about mercy. It is remarkable that it will be this very spot that faith will find its father, Abraham. Yes, the threshing floor of Araunah was located on Mount Moriah. This is the location where God said , no Abraham, you will not have to sacrifice your son, I will sacrifice my own Son because I love the world so much that I am willing to do this. Despite the fact that the world has turned its back on me and that there is none righteous, no not one, I will allow my own Son to suffer and die and I will suffer as I watch Him make that sacrifice because I love with a love that goes beyond human understanding.
It is remarkable that this is the place, the very place, where Solomon would build the temple. The site of the threshing floor, where mercy was received rather than justice, where God held His hand because of the contrite nature of the cry from David's heart. This is the power of a broken and contrite heart, it moves the hand of God. It brings salvation to the one who positions himself under the mighty hand of God. It brings life where there was death. To all who are hurt by our sinful actions, there is the possibility of life that flows out of mercy and forgiveness rather than wrath and judgement. And in this Temple the shekinah glory of the living God would flow from the Holy of Holies. I do not know but I do not doubt that the exact location of the threshing floor would be the exact location of the Ark of the Covenant, that most Holy place of God's presence. You see, in another time when David cried out with a broken and contrite heart, over the humiliation of his adultery being revealed, we see that David pleads with God "Create in me a clean heart, Oh Lord and renew a right Spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence of Lord, take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me, the joy of my salvation and uphold me with a willing Spirit.(psalm 51)
When we come to the threshing floor brothers and sisters, when we come to the place of sacrifice, when we come to the place of manifest presence, when we come into the Holy of Holies, we do so with a broken and a contrite heart, this is what it costs to come her, to come to this point. We know that there was a cost. Araunah would have given David this place for nothing, just to honor the king. Yet, in order to honor the king there is a price to pay. David gladly paid for that place. We pay the price of brokenness, and then comes mercy. You see, Abraham was called to pay a price, and he was willing but the Lord stayed his hand . This is the price the Lord would pay Himself, the high cost of Calvary from where all mercy flows to the broken-hearted and the contrite.
When a sinner cries out in brokenness, recognizing his sin, then he finds mercy and the hand of God does not destroy, it upholds. Whether that sinner is coming for the first time or whether, like David, that person is a follower of God, the person who humbles himself before the living God and acknowledges his sin will find mercy rather than judgement. The threshing floor is messy. The hard outer shell of your life will be required to be ripped away. You will be crushed in the threshing floor , your heart will be revealed and the dross will be discarded in this place. This is a place of brokenness and transparency. It has been uniquely prepared for you. Will you come? Did God know what it would take to humble David? Did God know what it would take to humble you? If you remain in your pride then the destruction of those that you love will continue. Humble yourself today, be renewed today, may your heart be clean this day and may you know the presence of the Lord. Oh the joy of coming into His temple, His presence, come today, come right now. Cry out to God and turn from your wicked ways, He will hear you from heaven and He will heal you.......................Frank