Monday, September 18, 2006

refiner's fire

I just heard a neat story I'd like to share...

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." 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 the woman called up a silversmith 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 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 so 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 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. For 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 silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's the easy part -- when I see my image reflected in it."


Margaret Feinberg said...

great story!

Even So... said...

I will be using this...

Al Hsu said...

Wow, great story, Craver. It would be a terrific sermon illustration.

Craver Vii said...

I'm glad it was well-received. Sorry, but I don't know who should get credit for it. Google "refining silver" or other similar titles, and you will find it all over the place.

Al, it was indeed a terrific sermon illustration! That's how I came upon it. It was sandwiched in a fantastic expository message my pastor gave last Sunday.

Oh and Al, your pictures from Asia were really neat!

Phil Hoover said...

Yes, it is excellent, and so very true. And the hard part is the "refining."

Anonymous said...

wow! I am glad I ran across your site! Yes I am taking this. I will certainly use it. Thanks for the illustration!

Craver Vii said...

Welcome, jared. I'm glad you dropped by. After visiting your blog, I think you might appreciate my first post. Check it out here
I saw your fake blog, too. Well done. (from one who occasionally also uses the fake blog, but not so detailed as yours)

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