There was a group
of women in a Bible study
on the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they
came across verse three which says: "He will sit as a refiner and
purifier of silver." (Malachi
3:3) This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this
statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women
offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back
to the group at their next Bible study. That week this woman called
up a silver smith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She
didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver
beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she
watched the silver smith, 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 he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.
She asked the silver
smith 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
silver smith, "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.