“…but Ornan continued threshing wheat.”– 1 Chronicles 21:20
There was significant transformation happening in the Nation of Israel. Rule had been turned over to David by God. The Lord made a promise to establish David’s throne forever. Confidence that anyone can lean upon. Trust in the Lord was not always sustained in David. King David took a census of the people. Not because the Lord commanded it. David wanted to know how many men he boasted. Temptation found warmth in David when pride nestled in his heart. He did not resist the devil, so the devil did not flee from him (1 Chronicles 21:1; James 4:7). If we do not resist the apple of pride, successes from God may change our hearts into a sponge that soak up all of His glory. God’s glory is not something He is willing to share (Isaiah 42:8).
David’s sin began judgment on Israel. The plague that ensued killed seventy-thousand men. Many of them were probably those the king had placed his trust in. While the plague ran rampant throughout the land, the angel of the Lord began to destroy Jerusalem with the sword. If it was David’s punishment, we wonder why others had to suffer. We make a special note here that God was angry with Israel, not with David (1 Samuel 24:1). As Wiersbe writes, “He [God] must have been punishing the people for some sin they had committed.” Interesting how a national pandemic can bring sin that would otherwise be hidden to light.
Destruction of the land was halted. The angel of the Lord sheathed his sword at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. It was here that a significant piece of property was purchased by David. It was on Mount Moriah. Where the Temple was built. Near the place Jesus was crucified for all mankind. While the angel stood at the entrance, Ornan’s sons hid. However, Ornan turned and saw the angel standing with the sword and then swiveled his head back towards his work. Pestilence and danger did not seem to consume him. He remained steady. In the face of disease and destruction, Ornan focused on his God-given vocation. He kept his eyes on the Lord, his hands on his work, and left the results to his heavenly Father.
A perfect storm has been described by Lucado as a “tempest that no sailor can escape.” Combining factors such as “hurricane-force winds plus a cold front plus a downpour of rain, work together to create the insurmountable disaster.” As we experience national leadership changes, global pandemics, and uncertainty in life, where our eyes focused today? If they are on the Lord, we will continue to be about our Father’s business, just like Jesus. Although we see signs of a “perfect storm” standing at the door of life, may we be like Ornan. May our attention swivel back to the work that God has given us to do. May we continue to share the gospel with a dying world!
“That is a fitting speech for a believer when working for God. Fear? I do not know it; what does it mean? The Lord is on our side; whom shall we fear? If God be for us, who can be against us?”– C. H. Spurgeon