If you study the book of Malachi in the Old Testament, you probably have come across this verse in Chapter 3 and wondered what it means. In verse 3 of that chapter, it says: “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” This verse puzzled me as little as I wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. Of course, being the researcher that I am, I decided to look into how silversmiths refined and purified silver.
Looking at several YouTube videos of demonstrations and lessons on what a silversmith does, one lady was talking to the silversmith (since it was a documentary style interview) as 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.
Of course, you can see some spiritual metaphors popping up just from hearing that as you might be thinking about God holding us in such a hot spot. However, if you look at the verse again, it says that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. The lady in the video then proceeded to ask 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 “Yes”, and explained that 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 damaged.
The lady 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.” Wow. That’s powerful!
If today you are feeling the heat of this world’s fire, just remember that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are refining you.
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” – Romans 8:29