Sermon by Pastor Robert Earl Houston, Sr.
Assistant Pastor, Westwood Baptist Church
Subject: "MY THRESHING FLOOR"
Text: 2 Samuel 24:18-25
18 And Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an
altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunahd the Jebusite.
19 And David, according to the saying of Gad, went up as the LORD
commanded. 20 And Araunah looked, and saw the king and his servants
coming on toward him: and Araunah went out, and bowed himself before
the king on his face upon the ground. 21 And Araunah said, Wherefore
is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the
threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the
plague may be stayed from the people. 22 And Araunah said unto
David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto
him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing
instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. 23 All these
things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said
unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. 24 And the king said
unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price:
neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that
which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and
the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an
altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace
offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague
was stayed from Israel.
There are minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years in the lives
of humanity that can be only described as critical. Those times
which place us between victory and defeat. It is a precipice that
only a few have learned how to escape out of.
It's the point between the doctor's hunch and the doctor's diagnosis.
It's the point between the application and the answer from the bank.
It's the point between driving in your lane and you winding up in an
It's the point between you child leaving home well and coming home
It's the point between your going to work happy and returning from
It's the point between a kiss goodbye from your spouse and returning
to a home improvement situation.
My brothers and sisters, how you and I handle that critical point in
our lives can make all the difference in your life. If some of us
would tell the truth in the room, some of us came to church this
morning with uncertainty, feel, anger and disappointment – not
knowing which way to turn.
I need to give you the answer right now before I go any further.
God's people must become a people of prayer. Life will show you –
if it hasn't already – that the more you deal with life, the more
you will have to pray.
Is there just seven witnesses in this room who can agree with me
that just when you think you've seen it all, been through it all,
experienced all, cried about all, wept about all – that life will
throw some circumstances that will get you back to prayer.
It appears that God designed us to be prayerful people. There is
something built deep within us that no matter what the need or the
circumstance is, it will cause us to call out His name.
I watched with horror the morning of 911 – but when the second tower
hit – even people who didn't know God – called out his name and
said "Oh God."
I was gripped to see our troops in the gulf war – first one and
second one – and when cameramen focuses on the troops during enemy
fire – that called out his name and said "Oh God."
When the Hurricanes put Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas on
the front pages of our papers, hearts and minds – as CNN, ABC, CBS,
NBC, and FOX reporters saw the devastation – even some of the same
people who do not worship him, had to say "Oh God."
And there is something on the inside of those who know God, that
circulates our circumstances with our God – and understand that God
can handle and help us deal with any circumstance that may come
along. And we'll cry out – whether it's one of those long public
church prayers, or a conversational prayer, or if it's just calling
the name of Jesus – and we'll take our circumstances and bathe it in
prayer, and rinse it with rejoicing for knowing that God can answer
Therefore, this pericape of David's experience becomes a launching
pad. David is now declining in age. He is no longer the young,
vibrant psalmist that captivated the imagination of King Saul. He
is now an aging King upon a throne. He had ordered a census of
soldiers. The results are that he has 800,000 soldiers in Israel
and 500,000 in Judah. His census angers God – for the Lord had not
ordered him to take a census – his life depends upon depending upon
the Lord. God had called him, protected him, dealt with his
enemies, gave him peace, fed him clothed him, anointed him, gave him
the gifts of administration, music, and leadership – and David
thinks for a moment, that his protection is people – no, all my
help, it comes from the Lord.
When David realizes that he has made a mistake in ordering the
census, God talks through the Man of God, Gad – who offers to David
one of three punishments:
Behind door number one is three years of hunger.
Behind door number two is three months of enemies.
And behind door number three is three days of diseases.
David does not make a selection. Instead he says whatever you do
Lord, just don't let me wind up in the hands of a man.
Oh, I don't blame David. I'd rather be in a hurricane than be in
the hands of a man. I'd rather be in a flood than to be in the
hands of a man. I'd rather be in lighting and thunder than to be in
the hands of a man.
God chooses to allow disease and in the first day over 70,000 people
died. David sees an angel with his arms lifted in the direction of
the City of David, Jerusalem. David says, Lord, it's my fault –
punish me or my family, but just don't punish Jerusalem.
You have to understand the intricate nature of David's feelings for
the holy city. Jerusalem is key to not only past history – but
history in his day – history today and history in the future.
Jerusalem is the city that David loved and built to honor God. The
temple was at Jerusalem. The market place was at Jerusalem. The
major theological centers were at Jerusalem. John said, I saw a new
Jerusalem coming down from above. The Bible teaches us to pray for
the peace of Jerusalem. Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem that killeth the
Gad shows up and says to David, go build an altar to the Lord on the
threshing floor of Araunah. A threshing floor was a flat surface,
usually outdoors, located on the edge of a village, stalks of grain
were laid on the floor, and then oxen would be deployed to walk on
the grain which would separate the wheat from the stalk. It was
called a threshing floor. It was dependable, it was a known place,
it was a visable place, everybody knew where it was, it was the
place where careful attention was paid to – it was the threshing
floor. People gathered around it – worked at it, watched you work
at it, were productive at it – it was the threshing floor.
However, David converted it from a threshing floor to a prayer
altar. My brothers and sisters, God would have us know today, that
there are some places in our lives that we need to convert into a
prayer altar. Those places that capture our attention and
imaginations – need to be converted to a place of prayer.
The lunch room.
The water cooler.
The living room.
Your child's room.
The principal's office.
The front yard.
The back yard.
Whatever you seem as important to you – needs to be changed to a
place of prayer. Can I suggest to you that after 85 years, there
should be some places in your life that should be converted to a
place of prayer?
David did not destroy the threshing floor, he built upon the
threshing floor. I have discovered you don't have to destroy your
child's personality to pray for them. You don't have to destroy
your reputation at your job to pray for co-workers. Just pray and
let the Lord work things out!
David is now at the point of prayer and not only does he purchase
the ground for worship, he purchases oxen to give in worship and
praise to God. David says, I will not worship the Lord with
borrowed things. I can't offer anything to God that didn't cost me
My brothers and sisters – if you're going to be a praying people and
a worshipping people – you're going to need to offer real things on
the altar that come from your personal experience.
Don't give to God dry prayers you learned from somebody else. Don't
give to God repetitious prayers and experiences from someone else's
testimonies – it's got to come from you, your heart, your life, your
testimony, your tears, your heartaches.
After David purchases the threshing floor, purchased sacrifices of
oxen to offer at the altar – he's there at the altar praying. Here
he is – a king bowing before a king. Here he is aged talking to the
Rock of Ages. Here he is with a royal robe on talking to the one
who Isaiah says God's robe filled the temple. Here he is praying on
bended knees from flesh that God created, using words that God gave
him comprehension of, standing on ground God made, under sky God
created, breathing air God made – to INTERCEDE on behalf of
Jerusalem, his family, and himself.
My brother and sisters – God sees you pray. He hears your prayers.
And, the Lord answered his prayers and disease in Israel stopped…
Somebody here might have a situation that only God can stop. Some
trouble that only God could stop. Some pain that only God could
stop. A situation that only God could stop.
But before God will stop it, you may have to get in line with Him.
Give your sacrifice and then pray to the Lord God almighty. He will
make a way out of no way. But you've got to call him. He may not
come when you want him to, but He's always, always on time.
You may be sick – but pray.
You may be lonely – but pray.
You may be sad – but pray.
You may be in trouble – but pray.
You may be down and out – but pray.
You may be running away from family – but pray.
You may be worn out and tired – but pray.
You may be tired – but pray.
You may be the difference between sorrow and a funeral.
You may be the difference between a life sentence and the electric
You may be the difference between storms and provisions.
You may be the difference between hospice and the hospital room.
You may be the difference between your child on crack and your child
in a graduation line.
You may be the difference between your unemployment check and your
You may be the difference between cancer and a check up.
You may be the difference between the divorce court and an
You may be the difference between
I don't know about you…but I'm going to stay on my threshing floor.
I'm going to keep on praying…keep on serving…keep on singing…keep on
preaching…keep on keeping on – I don't care how many tears I've got
to shed…I've got to keep on praying…
For my family
For my church
For my pastor
For my choir
For my ushers
For my deacons
For my teachers
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