You Can't Thresh Wheat In A Wine Press
Judges 6:11— “And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites."
The book of Judges is a book of great failure by the people of God and merciful deliverance from a faithful God. In the book of Joshua, God commanded the children of Israel to drive out the enemy from the promised land that He was giving them. Regrettably, the children of Israel refused to obey the Lord and even entered into covenant with certain nations in the land. This would prove to lead the children of Israel into a terrible direction in serving heathen gods. During this time in Israel’s history, there was no king and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. There would be seasons of great revival and then seasons of great falling away. It was a dark time in Israel’s history. This is exactly where we find ourselves in this narrative of the godly man of Gideon.
We find in this passage of Scripture that despite the fear that was upon the people of Israel as it concerned the Midianites, Gideon was still trying to work to provide for the people. We find Gideon in a winepress trying to thresh wheat. You will notice that in the KJV translation, it states that he was “by the winepress,” but properly translated, it says that he was “in the winepress.” A large hole was dug into the earth for grapes to be pressed. Wheat was to be threshed on a large stone above the ground where the chaff could separate by through the use of natural wind. Gideon was trying to thresh wheat in a wine press—an absolute impossible task. You can’t thresh wheat in a wine press!
This image that we have of Gideon down in a hole trying to thresh wheat in a wine press is the same imagery that we have for the majority of the church world today. Those who are trying to live a life of holiness and consecration to the Lord by any other means than faith in the finished work of Calvary are trying to thresh wheat in a wine press. We are given this imagery in the New Testament relating the threshing of wheat as the process of sanctification. Sanctification is the process of being made holy—the very root of this word in the Greek means “holy.” We know that it is God’s will for us to be made more holy.
I Thess. 4:3-5 says, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:”
The problem is not the desire to please God. The problem is not knowing how to please God. Paul said “every one of you should know how” to possess his vessel in sanctification and in honor. By placing our faith in what Christ did for us at Calvary and trusting in His finished work, we allow the Holy Spirit to help give us victory over sin.
So we have to quit trying to thresh wheat in a wine press. The only place to thresh wheat is on the threshing floor. Likewise, the only way to deal with sin is not by our consecration or good works, but at the Cross of Calvary.
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