Monday, March 29, 2010

The Eternal Refiner and Purifier of Silver

One of our dear friends posted this on their blog for their sweet daughter who was born prematurely and passed away. They are an amazing family. We really loved this story and the message it has as we all experience trials in this life, may we all come away from our trials a little shinier and more refined. (We promise our next post will have happy bunnies in it or something :) - Mike and Risa).

The Eternal Refiner and Purifier of Silver
-- Malachi 3:3

Malachi 3:3 says: "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness."

This verse puzzled some students in an Old Testament Sunday School class and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the students, a woman, offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next class.

That week, the woman called 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 to heat it up. He explained that when refining silver, one needs to hold the silver in the middle of the flame where the fire is hottest and thereby burn away all of the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot. Then she thought again about the verse that says: "…He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver..."

She asked the silversmith if he truly had to sit there in front of the fire closely monitoring the progress and make adjustments the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man assured her he did, and that he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on it the entire time it was in the fire. 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 easy – when I see my image in it."

When you are personally feeling the heat of the fire, as we all sometimes do, remember that God has His eyes on you and will keep closely watching you until He sees His image in your countenance.

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