"Then the Angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite" (I Chron. 21:18)
In the Old Testament we find an interesting relationship between worship and the "threshing floor". As we begin to explore this relationship we find some interesing things, which God has to say to us through this analogy.
The first mention of a threshing floor is found in Genesis 50:10-11, "the threshing floor of Atad", where Joseph and his brothers mourned the death of their father, Israel. It seemed appropriate for them to mourn at what we might consider an "unusual" place. Why mourn for Israel at a "threshing floor"? I believe the reason becomes more apparent as we see it's significance in Old Testament typology.
The next reference we have to the threshing floor is in regards to the "heave offering" in Numbers 15:20. It speaks of the "offering of the the threshing floor". We see a similiar reference in Numbers 18:27.
It was at the "threshing floor of Nacon", that Uzzah was struck dead for taking hold of the Ark of the Covenant (II Sam. 6:6-7).
Where was the Temple built? It was built at the threshing floor David had purchased from Ornan the Jebusite (I Chron. 22:1).
Let us consider what the threshing floor represents in the Scriptures. Its meaning goes beyond merely "the place where grain was threshed". It is symbolic of the relationship between the Bride and the Bridegroom. It is not insigificant that Ruth came to Boaz at the "threshing floor" (Ruth 3:6-14). Boaz represents Christ (our kinsman redeemer) and Ruth, the Bride of Christ.
At the center of the threshing floor, one finds two large flat stones, one resting on the top of the other. They were "fitted and joined" together. The top stone was known as the "female" and the bottom stone the "male". The "grinding of grain" was a depiction of the act of marriage (Job 31:10).
The act of marriage is a physical depiction of the "spiritual communion" God desires between Himself and Man. When God's covenant people stray from Him and worship other gods, God calls it "adultery" or "playing the harlot" (Ezek. 23:37, Hosea 4:12). Notice what God says to Israel in Hosea 9:1, "You have loved harlots earnings on every threshing floor".
It should be quite clear to you by now, that the "threshing floor" speaks to us about a place of worship. But what meaning has this for us under the New Covenant. Is there a message in the "threshing floor" for us?
I believe that worship for us is to be a time of "threshing", when God separates the "wheat' from the "chaff" in our lives. When we enter into worship, we are stepping on to God's "threshing floor" where He deals with those things which need to be "winnowed" out of our lives.
Worship is the Bride and the Bridegroom coming together to "consummate" their marital relationship, out of which "life" is produced.
I pray that we begin to see worship from the perspective of the "threshing floor".