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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Markdown Merchandise

Today’s Verse:

Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver. ~Ezekiel 22:18


I know a lot of people who are bargain hunters when they go shopping. They look for merchandise that is marked down in price. The markdown could be due to scratches, defects, being a returned item, or being seasonal. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t have the same value as the same merchandise when it is first put up for sale. This morning, let us see how the Christian life can wind up becoming marked down and lose its worth.

We see the debris.

Dross is refuse, debris, scum, or waste matter embedded within the silver. When silver is mined, the ore of the silver will always have this debris within it. It would not be considered the purest silver. Some ore has more, some has less. A knowledgeable buyer of silver will want to know the percentage purity of the silver. He will want to know, “Is what I am buying clean?” Dross is a vivid picture of sin embedded inside of our life.

We see the devaluation.

Dross devalues the worth of the silver. The more dross that is contained in the silver, the lesser the value. Just the fact that there is dross in the silver makes it suspect as to its valuation. It doesn’t matter that it is silver: what matters is how much dross is in it. Think of how powerfully this pictures sin in the life of a child of God. It devalues our worth. Sin in our life makes us ineffective in our service for God. Sin is a barrier to answered prayer. Sin robs us of our joy. Solomon said, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.” Sometimes, retail stores will mark down merchandise that will be out of season. When sin is in our life, we are “marked down” in our worth.

We see the distilling.

“The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). Silver must go through a refining or distilling process. Refining is when a furnace is heated up at the temperature necessary to melt the silver. Amazingly, silver melts at a temperature of 961 degrees C or 1,763 degrees F. That is very hot! The ore must be placed into this blazing furnace in a crucible and allowed to melt until it is in liquid form. As it becomes liquid, the dross or scum embedded in the silver rises to the top. The refiner carefully scoops the dross off of the silver, so to remove all known waste matter. As the metal starts to cool, the refiner looks into the silver. He knows that it has attained its purest state when he is able to see the reflection of his face in the silver. God places fiery trials into the life of His erring children in order to expose and burn away the dross of sin that gets embedded deep in our life. The intense heat of the trial brings this sin to the surface so that God can cleanse us. We know that the cleansing process has been done when our Lord sees His face in our life. It is at this critical point that God conforms us into His image.

We see the delight.

First, God is pleased with what He has done in our lives. When God has completed His refining process in our life, we are sanctified and meet for the Master’s use. Second, we have recovered our worth and usefulness for His glory. Job said, “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

Deal with the dross in your life by confessing and forsaking your sin. If you don’t, God will use His refining fire to do the purging. Don’t become a devalued Christian!

Have a purifying God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Psalm 80-85

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