A lady was participating in a house Bible study and they happened to read Malachi 3:3 where it says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” No one seemed to know much about refining silver, so this puzzled lady and the other women wondered what this statement had to do with the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. So, she called around until she found 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.

As she watched the silversmith, 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 again about the verse. She asked the silversmith if it was 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. If the silver was left 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 easy – when I see my image in it.”

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you. This refining process doesn’t happen quickly, it takes time to burn away the dross and impurities. According to the Psalmist, God’s Word has been purified seven times.[1][i] So it takes going through a trying process in order for us, as silver vessels, to be refined.[2] The more dross and impurities that are in us the longer it takes God’s holy sanctifying fire to remove it. But as the silversmith told the lady, all God is looking for in us is to see His image so that others can see Him in us. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

[1] Psalm 12:6

[2] Zechariah 13:9

[i] Psalm 12:6

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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