Devotional: April 28, 2020
For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; 3he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. 4Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
Malachi 3: 2-4
A dear late saint in our church, Fran Doane, shared the following story with Jeana a number of years ago, from the book of Malachi.
“This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study
And they wondered what this statement meant
About the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the
Process of refining silver and get back to the
Group at their next Bible Study.
That week, the woman called a silversmith and
Made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't
Mention anything about the reason for her interest
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."
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"
If today you are feeling the heat of the fire,
Remember that God has his eye on you and will keep
Watching you until He sees His image in you.
Pass this on right now. This very moment, someone
Needs to know that God is watching over them.
And, whatever they're going through,
They'll be a better person in the end.”
My guess is this verse, Malachi 3:3, also appealed to the composer George Frederick Handel, for he used it in his classic work, “Messiah”. “Refiner’s Fire” is the title of one of the alto arias in the famous composition.
Although it may be difficult to realize, God often gives us adversity and difficulty to refine us, and to purify us. Let us not lose sight of this important biblical truth, especially when we are in the heat of the battle, fighting through challenges and difficulties.
Lord of all,
Shape us, and mold us into the people You want us to be. Purge from us all that is not good, so that we might become worthy of being called Your children. We eagerly anticipate the day when people see Your image reflected in how we live out our lives. We want to love people as You love them. Help us to do that very thing. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.