A women’s Bible study group was in the book of Malachi and were perplexed when they came across verse 3 of chapter 3, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” As they discussed the verse, it led them to wonder what it meant about the character and nature of God. One of the ladies offered to gather information about the process of refining silver and would report to the group the following week at their next Bible study.

That week, she called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn’t mention anything about her reason for her interest except her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith work, she observed him taking a piece of unrefined silver and holding it over a fire. As the silver heated up, he explained that in refining silver, it had to be held in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest in order to burn away the impurities.

As she watched, the woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot as a refiner and purifier of our character and attitude. She then 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 silversmith nodded yes and then added, “I not only have to sit here holding the silver, but I have to keep my eyes on the silver the entire time it is in the fire. If the silver is left a moment too long in the flames, it will be destroyed.”

The woman sat in silence pondering the significance of the detail afforded to the silver. After a few minutes, she asked how he knew when the silver was fully refined. The silversmith smiled and answered, “Oh that’s easy – it’s when I see my image in it.”

What a wonderful truth that refining displays about God working in our lives. He accepts us just the way we are but loves us too much to let us stay that way. He will use any and all means to conform us into the image of his Son, Jesus. So regardless of the troubles we face, the circumstances we encounter, or the trials we are going through, remember that God has His eye upon His people and will keep watching over them until He finally sees His image.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.”

May we all strive to reflect the image of Jesus!

To His Glory,

Pastor Bill