The Threshing Floor

2 Chr 3:1 — 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.


The threshing floor holds deep historic and symbolic truth in the life of the believer. In the Old Testament, King David is seen purchasing a threshing floor – a place of separation and sifting, to offer a burnt sacrifice to the Lord (1 Chr.  21:26). David then said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of the burnt offering for Israel.” (1 Chr. 22:1)

The threshing floor was a place of separation – where the wheat kernel was beat, tossed  in the air for the wind to carry away the chaff. The remaining grain fell sifted to the floor, prepared for use. When David inquired about buying the threshing floor, the owner offered to give the land to David at no cost, but David refused, saying, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them (2 Sam 24:24). As David prophesied, the purchased threshing floor became the site of the Temple Mount, which remains today! David paid full price for the land so that he might offer his full self as a sacrifice to the Lord, and later build a temple where the Israelites could separate themselves in worship. The Bible tells us we are the temple of the Lord today, “. . . For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Cor 6:16

BUT, being a temple of the Lord also opens us to the threshing floor of sanctification – the two are inseparable, one built upon the other. Once we accept the Lord’s atonement for our sins and welcome Him into our heart, the winnowing fork begins its necessary sifting. Our flesh, the chaff, must be separated from the holiness God is working in us, “But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do” (1 Peter 1:16).

In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus says, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

When we choose to become the temple of the Lord, we will face various sifting (1 Peter 4:12). The Lord allows us to be tossed, so the chaff in our lives will break free as we fall on Him refined wheat, prepared for use. What a beautiful picture! The temple must come with threshing – they dwell together, which means they will both be present in my life! May I say with a similar heart to David’s, “How could I seek a life in Christ that costs me nothing? No – after all, did Jesus not lay down His own life for me at the expense of Himself?”


3 thoughts on “The Threshing Floor

  1. Excellent! A needed message in this Christian world that so often shrinks from suffering. I have been a shrunken, myself! What a far greater work the Lord has done in my own life through trial and sifting than He could do through a life of ease…more understanding, more compassion, more clinging to the lover of my soul.

    Thank you, Shannon!


  2. This is really good! Thank you Shannon. I have found several articles about the threshing floor that had creative history included. I was just reallly trying to understand the reference in Matt 3:12 and Luke 3:17. Thanks for the help!


    • This is really encouraging, Adel! Thank you for responding. The threshing floor does bring light to Matt 3:12 & Luke 3:17 – you’ve made me look closer! Wow, the Lord is good to refine His people.


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