Fine Silver

Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.

Proverbs 25:4

When talking about silver, dross is the stuff that gets in that doesn’t belong there.  It is the impurities and imperfections.  When you refine silver, you have to do a couple of things in order to get it to the fineness that you want. 

Unfortunately, silver does not come out of the ground in convenient 99% pure bars.  It comes out in ore.  The ore is crushed and then heated.  As it melts, the impurities are skimmed off, resulting in a more pure silver.  Depending on what your use of the silver will be, you can continue this process to get it as pure as you want it.  The Royal Mint of Canada gets their silver all the way down to 99.99% pure.  

It is the same with us as Christians.  God wants to purify us so that He can use us and make something out of us.  This purification is not easy.  We sometimes have to be “crushed.”  And often, we have to be put through the fire until our hearts are soft and pliable.  It is then that He can begin to skim off the impurities that spot our lives.  Silver has very little use in its unrefined and unpurified form.  In the same way, our lives as Christians have little value (especially to others) in their unpurified form.  The Lord has promised to work in us and that work sometimes is to burn out the undesireable things and attitudes. 

Going through the “refiner’s fire” is not usually a pleasant experience.  But we will come forth “a vessel for the finer.”  If you find yourself currently in the refiner’s fire, just remember that fine silver is infinitely more valuable than rough ore!

10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rita on January 28, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Oh, to think that he looks at us and even considers making us more valuable. What a wonderful Saviour!

    Thanks for the posts!


  2. Ben, I love the image of God as the refiner working to remove our impurities. Early in my blogging I wrote a similar post that I thought you might enjoy: . Peace, Linda


  3. Oh boy….

    Not enjoying the process but looking forward to the refined product. There are days I feel the polishing is so hard I will certainly crack under the pressure but His loving hands gently, but firmly, holds me in place.

    Trusting Him to refine fully.

    Thank you Ben. Thanks for reminding us about the not so pleasant parts of life that ultimately lead to the best we can imagine.



    • That brings me back to something I heard a long time ago- the worst day of knowing Jesus is better than the best day of not knowing Him. He knows what He is doing, and, though it’s hard to really trust that sometimes, it is comforting.


  4. Thank you for blessing us Ben, in encouraging us as we get refined. It’s not punishment for wrong doing, it’s because He loves us and knows all we can be. He’s going for the 100% useable us! God bless you as you submit to Him and His purposes for you each day!


    • I would say that, right now, I’m somewhere around 3% useable. But I know He has more for me! It all comes back to just trusting what He is doing in our lives and that He really is doing it for our good and for His glory!


  5. Ben I really liked this post. It has similar ideas as the ones about the potter and the clay. I have seen commercials on television that offered to buy scrap jewelry.

    I believe that part of His preordained plans for us is that starting when each of us first get saved we will be used even with our imperfections, and the service that we will probably be rewarded for will be things we did that we forgot all about. Then He time after time will put us back in that fire to shape us for whatever task he has for us.

    I know your verse is about purifying, but I think my thought will tie in to yours. Tarnished metal does not shine. Polished metal does. When the person holds a polished piece up to his face he can see his reflection in it.

    When we pause to think too much about what we are and what we have done instead of what He has done we become tarnished with pride. I think by making us forgetful about are good deeds he protects us from that. Then on that great day to come our flesh will finally be so conquered that He will be able to reward us for all that He enabled us to do in our lives here without endangering us of being prideful. 🙂


    • I had not thought of that. If He were to try to reward us for what He has enabled us to do while we still had our flesh, that flesh would immediately start to become filled with pride and the reward would be wasted. That is excellent. I will have to remember that. Thanks!


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