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Friday, December 12, 2008
Worship and Mission: Part 6
Previously on Worship and Mission. . . . . . .

Levitical Law revealed through Moses linking proper temple sacrifices and leaving grain in the field. . . . . . .Ruth, an (illegal?) alien widow gleans behind the harvesters outside Bethlehem in the field of Boaz. . . . . . Ruth lays at the feet of Boaz on the threshing floor and he later takes her as his wife, becoming her kinsman redeemer. . . . . . Boaz and Ruth give birth to Obed. . . . . who will sire Jesse. . . . . who will sire. . . . . . . David. 

David, now King, takes an ill-advised count of Israel's army. The Lord sends a plague on the land. 70,000 dead and the plague rages on. 

15 So the LORD sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, "Enough! Withdraw your hand." The angel of the LORD was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

17 When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the LORD, "I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall upon me and my family."

18 On that day Gad went to David and said to him, "Go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." 19 So David went up, as the LORD had commanded through Gad. 20 When Araunah looked and saw the king and his men coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.
21 Araunah said, "Why has my lord the king come to his servant?"
"To buy your threshing floor," David answered, "so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped."

22 Araunah said to David, "Let my lord the king take whatever pleases him and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 O king, Araunah gives all this to the king." Araunah also said to him, "May the LORD your God accept you."

24 But the king replied to Araunah, "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.  25 David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped. 

to be continued. . . . . . . .

Scenes from the next episode


posted by John David Walt | at 12/12/2008 08:08:00 AM



Blogger sandra r. said...

Oh wow... I just recently read this passage and was captivated by it because of the mention of the threshing floor... This all puts a whole new perspective and so much to process...

I'm on the edge of my seat here!

1:10 AM EST  
Blogger Kendra said...

This passage feels like the double bounce on a trampoline. One person passes the bounce energy on to the next person and catapults them into the air. The contrast between the census/wrath and sacrifice/acceptance stands out, and I think I should be seeing something in David's repentant action that is emphasized (double-bounced) by the taking of the census and God's wrath. But when I read the passage, the second is the more vague to me, and the wrath is the sharper and clearer message.

I understand the temple is built on that place, but what is God saying about himself or his ways? Why would this threshing floor have such significance?

The stopping of the plague in relation to David's action reminds me that God has a chosen place and time for His wrath. He will not fully exact it until that time. He chooses make room/apply longsuffering for the sake of the repentant heart.

Methusaleh was the oldest man whose life we have recorded, one translation of his name being "when he dies, judgement" or "when he dies it will be sent." God waits and allows the longest life to happen. Soon after his death, the flood came. God is compassionate and longsuffering, showing mercy. His wrath is fully just and He will continue to discipline, but He chooses for compassion and purpose to give boundary to His wrath for a time.

On that day at the threshing floor, when the plaque was checked, God gave room for the repentant heart to respond in sacrifice. David came to make a stand between the living and the dead in the place of God's grace.

God's boundary is preparing the way for Christ. His longsuffering has a purpose, though wrath will be justly exacted in time.

None of these sacrifices satisfy holy wrath. What we sacrifice to God, what we leave behind in the field...they are not sacrifices meant to satisfy wrath. So what does it mean? What does the harvest - a threshing floor, cultivating and keeping the garden - mean? ...these things do not satisfy what is required for lack of holiness but characterize it.

The heart that exacts a census and the repentant heart. I think I can chew on these a while. Might help me not to go mad. =-)

Trying to see Him better in this...

9:49 PM EST  

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