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Refiner’s Fire – Silver

August 6, 2017

“Washing table” at Laurion silver mines which supplied ancient Athens, Author Heinz Schmitz, Source Eigenes Bild (CC BY-SA 2.5 Generic)

Mentioned in the Book of Genesis, silver has long been prized.  Slag heaps in Anatolia attest that this precious metal has been separated from lead since the Bronze Age.

Refining is the method of removing impurities from the metal.  It is important not to overheat silver in the refining process.  This requires close attention to the molten metal.  While overheating will not destroy silver, it can make the metal unworkable.

Temperatures as high as 1450 degrees Fahrenheit are necessary to vaporize impurities which then form on the surface of the silver as dross.  Purified molten silver will shine with a mirror-like quality when ready to pour.

Refiner’s fire is often used as a metaphor for spiritual purification in the Bible.

David described God as having “tested us…refined us as silver is refined” (Ps. 66: 10).  The prophet, Isaiah, spoke of God as purging out dross, and removing all alloy (Is. 1: 25).  We are told by Malachi that the Messiah in the last days “will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Mal. 3: 3).

In the same way that the silversmith watches over the silver, God watches over us.  However great the burden or sorrow we are called upon to bear, it is not beyond our means with God’s help.  Even broken, our lives are in His hands; can be reshaped and restored beyond our imagining.

I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested.  They will call on My name, and I will answer them.  I will say, ‘This is My people’: and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God’ ” ( Zech. 13: 9).

Father, You know our individual strengths and weaknesses.  You know the burdens each of us carry.

We pray for one another, and for those throughout the world who believe themselves alone in their struggles.  Reach out Your hand, Father, that our burdens may be lifted.  Deepen our faith, that we may know You walk with us.

Purify us from iniquity, Father, but remember how weak we are.  Our lives are in Your hands.  May we reflect the image of Your Son, Jesus.

Amen

Originally posted 6/9/13

READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse  https://avoicereclaimed.com

9 Comments
  1. GOD..we pray you to test and purify us like silver and gold…you are our smith for gold and silver

  2. Very beautiful. And I needed to hear it.

  3. Sometimes being refined is not very pleasant! It’s always good for use, but not always pleasant.

    • Boy, isn’t that the truth! What struck me about the metaphor was not just the heat needed to refine silver, but the attention. If you watch either of the PBS programs “Secrets of the Viking Sword” http://www.pbs.org/video/nova-secrets-viking-sword or “Secrets of the Samurai Sword” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/secrets-samurai-sword.html you’ll see that great care must be taken not to overheat the metal. The color of the flame actually changes during the smelting process.

      I’ve had one or two silver rings re-sized over the years. If care is not taken, the metal turns permanently black. It’s one reason most jewelers won’t bother working silver.

      • I liked that about the attention also. God is not just chucking us in the fire and letting it work; He is right there, tending to the work the whole time!

  4. God tells us Anna that He does not willingly afflict us or cause us to grieve and yes we are all the Children of Men,

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men.

    He also tells us we when you walk through the fire of oppression we will not be burned up the flames will not consume us.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    So what is the Refining Fire?……….

    From Got Questions – https://www.gotquestions.org/Holy-Spirit-fire.html

    Fire is a wonderful picture of the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is like a fire in at least three ways: He brings God’s presence, God’s passion, and God’s purity. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God as He indwells the heart of the believer (Romans 8:9). In the Old Testament, God showed His presence to the Israelites by overspreading the tabernacle with fire (Numbers 9:14-15). This fiery presence provided light and guidance (Numbers 9:17-23). In the New Testament, God guides and comforts His Children with the Holy Spirit dwelling in our bodies—the “tabernacle” and the “temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 5:1; 6:16).

    The Holy Spirit creates the passion of God in our hearts. After the two traveling disciples talk with the resurrected Jesus, they describe their hearts as “burning within us” (Luke 24:32). After the apostles receive the Spirit at Pentecost, they have a passion that lasts a lifetime and impels them to speak the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31).

    The Holy Spirit produces the purity of God in our lives. God’s purpose is to purify us (Titus 2:14), and the Spirit is the agent of our Sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2). As the silversmith uses fire to purge the dross from the precious metal, so God uses the Spirit to remove our Sin from us (Psalm 66:10; Proverbs 17:3). His fire cleanses and refines.
    .

    God gives us opportunities Anna to walk in The Fruit of The Spirit and when we choose to He empowers us through The Spirit so we can, good and evil cannot be in Unity so our Carnal flesh is put to death and we are purified and perfected in Love…we have God’s seed or Nature not Adams, the old has gone the New has come. But if we choose to Sin instead of walking in the Fruit of the Spirit we reap the evil we sow until we come to our senses and repent like the Prodigal Son did and than Wow what a welcome Home.

    1 John 3:9 No one who is Born of God will continue to Sin because God’s seed remains in him he cannot go on Sinning because he has been Born of God.

    1 Peter 1:21-23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever.

    Romans 6 : 1 – 2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in Sin that Grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to Sin live any longer therein?

    Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no Condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    • Dear Anne —

      How wonderful! You have found another level of meaning to my post! As you know, I wrote it from the perspective of trials, rather than sin. Job underwent trials without having sinned.

      You will notice that I have removed your statement that “born again” Christians no longer being able to sin. The key verse on which you rely (1 John 3: 9) is addressed below.

      As you are aware, I do not agree with your interpretation of Scripture in regard to the ability to sin. We have had lengthy discussions on this subject. You and other Christians are, of course, at liberty to believe what you will.

      To clarify for readers unfamiliar with the subject, there is a difference of view among Christians as to whether the capacity to sin is removed when we are “born again” or the inclination to sin is gradually removed from us by God through the lifelong process of sanctification. Variations in biblical translation contribute to this difference.

      Regrettably, I have never met a sinless Christian and am not, myself, sinless despite every effort. I, therefore, am of the latter point of view. Paul writes extensively about the struggle between the “old man” (our old Adamic nature) and the “new man” (our new nature in Christ).

      In “Do Born Again Christians Sin?” at Grace in Focus https://faithalone.org/magazine/y1990/90march2.html, Bob Wilkin puts it this way, “Saints at best fail daily. First John 3:9 is a call to holiness.”

      Brooke, specifically, writes:

      “The fact that he has been begotten of God excludes the possibility of his committing sin as an expression of his true character, though actual sins may, and do, occur so far as he fails from weakness to realize his true character” (The Johannine Epistles, p.89).

      Thank for your comment.

      Blessings,

      A. ❤

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