1344) Refined by Fire

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AN OLD STORY (author unknown):

     There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi.  As they were studying chapter three they came across the third verse which says, “He will sit like a refiner and purifier of silver.”  This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. 

     One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.  That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.  She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

     During her visit, she watched the silversmith as he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up.  He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

     The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot.  Then she thought about the verse, “He shall sit like a refiner and purifier of silver.”  She asked the silversmith if it were true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

     The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire.  For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

     The woman was silent for a moment.  Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”

     He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s the easy part — when I see my image reflected in it.”

     If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep His hand on you and watch over you until He sees His image in you.

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Malachi 3:1a, 2-3a  —  “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me…,” says the Lord Almighty.  But who can endure the day of his coming?  Who can stand when he appears?  For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.  He will sit like a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. 

Psalm 66:10  —  For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.

Zechariah 13:9  —  I will put (them) into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.  They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

Proverbs 17:3  —  The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

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Test me, O Lord, but enable me to stand the trial.

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