Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the scriptures, and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse:
"And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
One lady's opinion was that is was intended to convey the view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject.
She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her.
"But Sir" she said, "do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"
"Oh, yes, madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression,
"He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random;
"the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way that he knows when the process of purifying is complete when he sees his own image reflected in the silver....
A few scriptures referring to "refining fire":
Job 23:10 Yet he knows the way I take; when he has tested me, I will come out like gold.
Zechariah 13:2 But who can endure the day when he comes? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like the soapmaker's lye. 3 He will sit, testing and purifying the silver; he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold and silver, so that they can bring offerings to ADONAI uprightly.
Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on My Name, and I will answer them; I will say, It is My people; and they shall say, Yahweh my Elohim is my Elohim.
Malachi 3:2 But who can endure the day when he comes? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like the soapmaker's lye. 3 He will sit, testing and purifying the silver; he will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold and silver, so that they can bring offerings to ADONAI uprightly.
Isaiah 48:10 "Look, I have refined you, but not [as severely] as silver; [rather] I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
Job 23:10 Yet he knows the way I take; when he has tested me, I will come out like gold. 11 My feet have stayed in his footsteps; I keep to his way without turning aside. 12 I don't withdraw from his lips' command; I treasure his words more than my daily food.
We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).