Today I have decided to quote Kathy Howard from her study Before The Throne:
“God says He will purify His children by refining them like silver. I didn’t know anything about silver refining, so I did a little research on smelting, the process that extracts metal from its ore. I found that the steps for this original refining process are relevant to our study today. (Malachi 3:2-4, page 108)
The process begins with a quantity of silver ore, which is basically rock with a little silver in it. The ore is first crushed to a powder, then it is washed to dissolve many unwelcome contaminants. This cycle is repeated until the water is clear.
Next, the ore is placed in a furnace with lead or charcoal. The furnace is heated to an extremely high temperature (between 1450C-2000C) to melt everything- additional contaminants, the lead, and the silver within the ore. The lead acting as a scavenger, adheres to the silver. Then the metals, which are heavier than the contaminants, sink to the bottom of the furnace. The contaminants, or slag, can then be drained off the top.
After most of the slag is removed, the metals in the bottom of the furnace are tapped and poured into a mold. This mixture of lead and silver must be heated again to separate the metals. This time the furnace is heated to a temperature that is sufficient to melt the lead, but not the silver (about 900C). Even though this is an extremely simplified version of the smelting process, it helped me to appreciate how much time and work goes into the refining of even one ounce of silver.
God refines His people like silver, and His refining process in the life of a believer is not easy: beginning with just an ordinary lump of hard rock, crush, and wash and wash again, fire and heat, melt and separate, drain and mold, heat again, and shape. The result is a pure product that the Master Smelter can use in any way He chooses. Are you willing? Then ask God to turn up the heat!”
Next time you sing about being refined and ask God to bring His refining fire, be sure you know just what it is you are asking Him to do.
Kathy’s on staff at America’s KESWICK in the Development Department. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 27 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and has taught Sunday School and Bible Studies for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.