Tuesday, 27 March 2012


Malachi 3:3 "He will sit as a refiner & purifier of silver"

I don’t know about you but I love silver…..not just the jewellery although looking at me kitted out in silver from head to toe today you may think otherwise.  I love the colour, the purity and the fluidness of it!!

I am sure that many of you have heard the story before of a group of women studying the book of Malachi and being puzzled by this verse.   They wondered what this statement meant about the character & nature of God. Now like them I don’t know much about how silver is made or where it comes from so one woman offered to find out about the process of refining silver & get back to the group at their next Bible study. The woman called up a silversmith & made an appointment to watch him work. She didn't mention anything about her reason for her interest in silver 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 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 says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' (Malachi 3:3) 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 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.'

I have heard this silver analogy many times. The Bible uses the process of making silver as an example of what it is like for God to refine us. He uses the heat of life to purify us into a pure picture of him. It wasn't until I read Jeremiah 6 that I realized that not all silver can be refined. Some silver contains metals that cannot be removed with fire. The silver is rejected, unable to be purified. I was struck by this verse, "The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining goes on in vain; the wicked are not purged out."

God seeks the refinement of our hearts. He wants to purify us from the inside out, making us into His image. It is His desire to refine us. But it is our choice whether we want to be refined. We can read all the Christian books, get advice from godly men and women, sit in church every Sunday morning and evening, attend bible study and still not want to be refined. God was in essence saying to the people of Israel, "I want you to turn to me. I have peace and life to offer you, but you continue to reject me." The problem was that their hearts weren't wanting to be refined and in the end they paid the price for their choice. Today we are given the exact same choice. God calls out to us, giving us ways to grow, desiring to refine us in the fire of His love and yet we turn our backs on Him and we walk away. To be a silver that cannot be refined you have to make a conscience choice not to obey God. You have to say no to the refining process. 

The one phrase I can't seem to get out of my head is....."...but the refining goes on in vain..." it's scary and so definite.

If you are feeling the heat of this worlds fire today, CHOOSE to remember that God has His eyes on you, CHOOSE to be refined by Him and CHOOSE to enjoy being made in His image!

And finally CHOOSE to be made into silver that will reflect God!!!!!

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