A Walk Through the Book of Psalms

[Welcome to my verse by verse walk through the book of Psalms.  If you’d like to read other posts in this series click on “Walk Through Psalms” under categories.]

A Thrashing at the Threshing Floor 

Araunahs Threshing Floor

Psalms 1:4-6 (ERV)

But the wicked are not like that.
    They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
 When the time for judgment comes, the wicked will be found guilty.
    Sinners have no place among those who do what is right.
 The Lord shows his people how to live,
    but the wicked have lost their way.

In comparison to the previous verse, verse 4 of Psalms 1, takes a much darker turn.  The reader is taken from a place of calm and thrust into a place of testing and unrest.  In biblical times the threshing floor was the place where the grains of wheat were separated from the chaff, a dry, scaly protective covering.  This laborious task was done by beating the grain with a flail, or walking donkeys and oxen in circles, over the grain spread upon a hard surface.  Once the threshing was complete, the grain was tossed into the air, for the dry, inedible husk, to be caught by the wind and blown away.

Sometimes, my life is much like a threshing floor.  I’m tossed to and fro, walked upon and beat down.  Debt collectors have my number on speed dial.  Chronic sickness stalks me like the Mucinex phlegm man.  I’m jobless.  Who wants to hire a fifty year old without a college degree?  I am shunned by some because of my orientation.  I eat to lighten a hovering cloud of depression, and as a result, I find myself 30 pounds overweight. So, yep…I’d say, I’m taking a thrashing at the threshing floor.

Throughout the bible, the threshing floor represents a place of judgement but strangely enough, it could also be seen as a place of blessing.

An interesting story, from the old testament, tells of a man and his four sons, who were out threshing their wheat.  The man looked up to see an angel, standing by the threshing floor, fierce and wielding a sword.  Of course, the man and his sons became afraid, so they hid from the presence of the angel.  Peeping from their hiding place, they noticed the angel lower his sword.  When the angel was gone, the man and his four sons left the hiding place and came back to the threshing floor.  They see David, king of the Israelites, waiting for them.  The king inquired about the purchase of the man’s threshing floor. They learn that King David, had previously sinned against God, and so as punishment, God had sent the angel to bring pestilence to the land.  Once David repented from his sin, God stayed the hand of the angel, so that the punishment stopped.  God then instructs David to build an alter upon the man’s threshing floor.  The man readily sells his property to David and so the place of judgment became a place of worship and blessing.  (I Chronicles 21)

Also, in the book of Ruth, it was at a threshing floor that Ruth disclosed her romantic interest in Boaz.  As a result of their union, some 1300 years later, Jesus, the greatest gift ever given, was born to take away the sins of the world.  (Ruth 3) (Matthew 1:1-16)  The scene, between them at the threshing floor, led to a place of blessing within a manger.

My challenge, when my life is being sifted as wheat, (Luke 22:31-32) is not to lose faith but believe that God will somehow…someway bring blessing to my life.  Luke 22:32 tells us that Jesus, himself, prays for us during our time of testing.  So that we, through the trial, will come out stronger in our faith and able to help the suffering world all around us.

The words from Psalms 1:6, “The Lord shows his people how to live…” assures us that He, not only knows about our struggles, but that He will guide us through them unto the other side.

My Prayer:  Lord, I don’t understand why things happen the way they do in my life, but I do know that you are in control, and in the end, you will bring blessings to my life.  Help me, Jesus, to keep my eyes upon you, and not on my problems.  Sometimes, that is hard to do when life becomes so painful.  Please, Lord, remind me of the power of prayer, and of the strength, waiting to be found, within your word.  May I, be careful to, meditate therein day and night.  Amen.

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

I don’t know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don’t borrow from it’s sunshine
For it’s skies may turn to grey.

I don’t worry o’er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I’ll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden’s getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.

There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

I don’t know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.

And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I’m covered with His blood.

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand…

(Words by Ira Stanphill, 1950)

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