“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” (Malachi 3:3)
Yesterday, I wrote about the “Gift of Trials.” As I wrote it, I remembered the above verse and a story I read long ago.
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” (Malachi 3:3) This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and share her findings at the next Bible study.
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 and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one need to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot – then she thought again about Malachi 3:3 “He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.”
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 holds you in His hands, watching you until He sees His image in you.”
Steve Green recorded a song about the Refiner’s fire that explains it far better than I ever could:
The Refiner’s Fire
There burns a fire with sacred heat
White hot with holy flame
And all who dare pass through its blaze
Will not emerge the same
Some as bronze, and some as silver
Some as gold, then with great skill
All are hammered by their sufferings
On the anvil of His will
Chorus: The Refiner’s fire
Has now become my soul’s desire
Purged and cleansed and purified
That the Lord be glorified
He is consuming my soul
Refining me, making me whole
No matter what I may lose
I choose the Refiner’s fire
I’m learning now to trust His touch
To crave the fire’s embrace
For though my past with sin was etched
His mercies did erase
Each time His purging cleanses deeper
I’m not sure that I’ll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker
Keeps my hungry soul alive
Words and music by Jon Mohr and Randall Dennis
Copyright 1989 Birdwing Music/Jonathan Mark Music (admin. by Gaither copyright management)/J.R. Dennis Music. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.
Father God, thank you for the Refiner’s fire. Help us to trust you, knowing that You hold us in your hands as we go through the Refiner’s fire. Amen.