The Fining Pot and the Furnace
The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts. ~Proverbs 17:3
This morning, we want to consider the refining process, or how metals were processed for the purpose of purification. We want to see how this colorful picture teaches us how God works in our life to make us the best Christian possible for His glory and use.
There is the purpose in refining.
Refining would either be done through the use of a fining pot or a furnace of fire. A fining pot was a large hole in the earth where a fire would be made. A furnace was an oven-type kiln. In either case, it would contain a fire that was heated very hot for the purpose of melting down silver or gold into liquid. As the metal became a liquid, the impurities, which are called dross, would float to the top. The artisan or refiner would remove the dross at the right moment, thus resulting in a metal that would be pure. The metal would be the purest and most precious possible. This made the metal very valuable. The purpose of refining was to have the purest and most valuable metal possible.
There is the purging in refining.
The refining process was necessary to reveal the impurities in the metal. These impurities needed to be identified before the metal could be used for a special purpose or as currency. Sometimes, the intense heat would burn away some impurities. In most situations, the dross would float to the top, and then, at the right moment, it would be extracted. The purging could only occur after the metal had been placed in the fining pot or furnace that had been heated up at a very high heat.
There is the product in refining.
Refining produced the purest gold and silver. This gold and silver would be a very precious commodity for use. It was the best metal for jewelry, ornaments, vessels, and currency. It was trusted metal. It was circulated metal. It was the best metal. There was no substitute for refining metal. Without a fiery process for burning and exposing dross, the silver or gold was considered untested and unreliable. The most precious metal is always that which has gone through the fire. The refiner was only satisfied with the product when he could see the reflection of his face in the liquid metal. Our Lord is only satisfied with the trials that He places in our life when He sees His reflection in our life.
There is the principle in refining.
This process is a picture of how the Lord works in our heart and life in order to produce the best Christian. God has to place us in a furnace of affliction and trial to reveal the impurities beneath the surface. These impurities can only be revealed when there is fire. Once they are revealed, they must be removed. This is how the Lord tries our heart. The refining process will result in humility, tears, hurt, suffering, and losses. However, the purest Christians are those who have gone through the fire. The strongest Christians are those who have gone through the fire. The most faithful and reliable Christians are those who have gone through the fire. There is no Christian who is greatly used of God who has not gone through the fire.
If you are going through a fiery trial, remember that God is allowing this in your life to purge away the dross that is polluting your effectiveness for Him. Count it all joy for whatever trial that He has allowed. Rejoice that you will come forth as gold. Rejoice that God loves you and is doing something great in you. Spurgeon said, “Fiery trials make golden Christians.”
Have a golden God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Psalms 126-132