- - "Malachi 3:3"

There was a group of women in a Bible study,
studying 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 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
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 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.
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 silver smith,
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."

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire,
remember that God has His eye on you and will
keep His hand on you and watch over you until
He sees His image in you.

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2001