TODAY’S READING: 1 CHRONICLES 20-23
What does buying a threshing floor for 600 shekels of gold have to do with averting the plague Israel was under? What does David’s transaction with Ornan have to do with shielding our hearts from the flaming darts of Satan?
The prophet Gad told David that he should raise an altar at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. David went to Ornan an offered to buy the threshing floor “at its full price” so that the plague could be averted from the people.
Ornan offered to give the threshing floor along with oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for wood, and the wheat for a grain offering for free.
But, David said, “‘No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’ So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. And David built there an altar to the Lord.” (1 Chronicles 21:24-26)
The key to understanding passages like this is to put Jesus in the middle of them. Therefore, in this passage we need to see David as Jesus.
Israel was under a plague. David was to avert the plague by buying the threshing floor of Orana.
What plague did Jesus come to avert?
How did Jesus avert the plague of sin?
By condemning sin in his flesh.
Where did Jesus avert the plague?
On the cross.
David was to “raise an altar to the Lord” on the threshing floor. The threshing floor is symbolic of a place of judgment. And, sin was judged, condemned, on the cross in the body of Jesus.
Romans 8:2-3 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.” The Greek word for condemned is often translated judgment or pass judgment on.
This threshing floor belonged to Ornan the Jebusite. The name Ornan means cedar man or large pine. The name Jebus, from which we get the term Jebusite, means treading down or trodden underfoot. Cedar trees often symbolize people. So, perhaps Ornan the Jebusite symbolizes people trodden down by the law.
1 Corinthians 15:56-57 says, “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Remember, the plague being averted is sin. The power of sin treading us down is the law.
But, David buys all this at full price from Ornan. David makes an exchange with Ornan. He gives Ornan 600 shekels of gold for his threshing floor.
Jesus makes an exchange with us. He gives 600 shekels of gold for the sin that is powered by the law that is treading us down. Jesus takes that sin into his own body and crucifies it, condemns it, judges it, on the cross, the altar that he raised to God.
But, what does the 600 shekels of gold symbolize?
Gold represents the divine nature, the divine life, of God.
The number 600 symbolizes war. Look up the number 600 in scripture and you will find virtually all of the 24 references have to do with war.
Jesus takes our threshing floor of judgment, condemns sin in the flesh on it, but gives us the ability to wage war by his divine power. The divine power to wage war is not one of killing, but dying. It’s by this divine power for war that we partake of Jesus’ condemnation of sin in the flesh in our own lives.
In John 18:36, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
Ephesians 6:16 says, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.”
The flaming darts of the evil one, Satan, are the lies he speaks to us about God. He shoots theses lies straight for our heart. These lies are arguments and lofty opinions raised against the knowledge of God. But, we have the shield of faith that can stop these lies.
Did you know that Solomon made shields that went into the House of the Forest of Lebanon (where cedars came from)?
Each one of those shields was made of 600 shekels of gold. Warring by the divine nature shields our hearts from the lies of Satan.
Peter alludes to this very thing. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)