“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver” (Mal. 3:3). “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried” (Psa. 66:10). “…in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver” (Ezek. 22:18). These verses state that God, as a refiner, proves and purifies us as silver is tried. I researched to update my article about these verses. I found this devotion, The Silversmith – In a women’s Bible Study they came across this verse, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of them offered to find out the process of refining silver. That week, she visited a silversmith and watched 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 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, that “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 that 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. – Unknown (heavensinspiration.com).
The silversmith knows just how long to keep the silver over the fire. Not too long, not too short, just right. “…for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able” (1 Cor. 3:2). “…but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted (tested) above that ye are able; but will with the temptation (test) also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). Christian, when you are over the heat, just remember the Silversmith watches over you (Psa. 34:15). He remains until the dross is removed (Heb.13:5). At the right time, He says “Enough. I see my image in you.” He knows just when you have had enough. So when you are over the flames, as Job, trust God. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). Don’t become bitter but become better. Don’t resist but respond.
At the right time, He will remove you from the fire. “But the God of all grace… after that ye have suffered a while (tested), make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet. 5:10-11). Again, don’t resist but respond! After the refining and purifying process, the dross is removed; You become softer, stronger, sweeter, and more sensitive, reflecting the image of the Lord. You have learned that your trip to the Silversmith was for your good and His glory (Rom.8:28). Matthew 22:20 – Whose image is on you?