“Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, everything that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless, it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water,” Numbers 31:22-23 KJV.
Remember, that the former refined areas in our lives can become dull, lacking luster or tarnished being unusable.
God’s Word compares our spiritual lives as to gold, silver, brass, iron, tin, and lead among other examples.
However, everything that has been initially made for the fire, eventually must go back through the fire, to burn away impurities so we can be brilliant and clean again, and effective for the Master’s use.
Then we must go through the washing of the water of the Word.
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” Ephesians 5:26 KJV.
“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble,” 1 Corinthians 3:12-13.
Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
Fire reveals! Water cleanses!
In the Bible it often refers that going through the fire of refinement purges away all dross or impurities that keep us from God’s best and ready use.
“Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver,” Ezekiel 22:18 KJV.
All of us who have made Jesus The LORD of our lives will go through the times of the Refining Furnace and the crucible which is a vessel in which silver and other precious metals can be poured into withstanding high heat for pouring to shape new vessels.
“A crucible for silver and a furnace for gold, but The LORD is the tester of the hearts,” Proverbs 17:3 KJV.
Often God uses word pictures to describe the life of the true believer. God sends mandates of trials and testing of the true believer to purify us and prove to “ourselves” who and what we truly are and what we believe.
Often, we don’t or won’t see ourselves unless some kind of event happens that provokes a negative reaction in us.
When a negative reaction happens, we will then act accordingly. As the dross is removed from the silver through high heat and poured into a crucible, a pure vessel will come forth.
God is saying that through our lives and circumstances, although not easy, He is preparing us, and refining us.
Like the silver is processed, so the word “refine” speaks that God will test us in various types of seemingly heated situations. It’s not comfortable to go through the fire but a necessity for our growth.
Using the metaphor of going through the furnace or refining fire, speaks that our particular trial and test has a purpose and design for our physical and spiritual well-being. There are many afflictions in the believer’s lifetime.
All are designed so we become more like Jesus. When God tests us, it isn’t to fail us but that we would awake with his likeness.
“Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but The LORD delivers him out of them all,” Psalms 34:19.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but The LORD delivereth him out of them all.
“As men gather silver, bronze, iron, lead, and tin into the midst of a furnace, to blow fire on it, to melt it; so I will gather you in My anger and in My fury, and I will leave you there and melt you,” Ezekiel 22:20.
“Because I knew that you were obstinate, and your neck was an iron sinew, and your brow bronze,” Isaiah 48:4.
“How the gold has become dim! How changed the fine gold! The stones of the sanctuary are scattered at the head of every street. The precious sons of Zion, valuable as fine gold, how they are regarded as clay pots, the work of the hands of the potter!” Lamentations 4:1-2.
“The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but The LORD tests the hearts,” Proverbs 17:3.
“He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the banner,” says The LORD, Whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem,” Isaiah 31:9.
“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction,” Isaiah 48:10.
In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey