Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 19, 2013 … The Refiner’s Fire

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 19

Passage of the Day: Ezekiel 22: 30 [in the context of verses 30-31] …  
3 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the LORD tests the heart. 

Reference Passage #1: Malachi 3: 2-3a : [NLT] … {The Lord is our refiner’s fire. } …  
2 “But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal or like a strong soap that whitens clothes. 3 He will sit and judge like a refiner of silver, watching closely as the dross is burned away. 

My Journal for Today: One of the recurring word pictures used in the Bible to describe and explain the trials and tribulations we encounter in our lives is that of the refiner’s fire. The days in which the early books of the Old Testament were written took place in what archeologists describe as the “Iron Age;” and in those days (and to some degree even now) metal smiths would take rocks filled with iron ore or precious metals and put them into a heated caldron to burn away the metals. And as the metals were refined further and further by the heat, the slag or dross, i.e. the impure metals or elements, would collect at the top of the liquefied and purified metals and could be easily collected by the metal smith. Therefore, when the remaining purified metal was cooled it became purified iron, such as bronze, which could be used for fashioning implements of living or warfare. Also, of course, the more valuable fine metals such as gold/silver needed to be refined and purified to become the very marketable commodities of the ancient middle-east in the times of the Old Testament.

Therefore, it’s easy to see why this became such a common word picture to describe how God, who was pictured as the source of the “refiner’s fire,” in His judgment of the impurities of mankind (i.e., our disobedience and sin) would use heat of the crucible of life to burn away those impurities and reshape us into the image He created us to become, i.e., the image of His Son, … Who was the One He sent to become our ultimate Refiner and Redeemer. When one thinks of the fires of life that Old Testament characters, like Joseph and Moses, and in the New Testament, Jesus’ Disciples, went through, we can see that God used the fires of trial and tribulation to purify them to transform them into the image of God, the Son.

 So, we shouldn’t be surprised that God is still using the fires of life (i.e., the trials) to purify and reshape us into the image of our Lord. I would estimate that any Christian reading this can recall a time (maybe you’re in it right now) when we were put through a caldron of pressure or challenge; and when we came out of that fire we were a better, stronger, or purer person. In fact, we almost always look to the most heated times of our lives as those times when we grew the most in our lives.

So, if you’re reading this and reflecting on your life – maybe even what you’re going through now – realize and have faith that God has you in whatever fire you might be in to purify or refine you into His own image.

My Prayer for Today Oh, Lord, burn away the dross and reshape me in Your image. … Amen

No comments: