Proverbs 17:3: “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, / But the LORD tests the hearts.”

June 21st, 2024 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Glass or ceramic crucibles are still used to this day by metallurgists to refine precious metals. The metalworker, testing and refining gold or silver, was a familiar picture in the ancient world. They would place lead and flour into a crucible (a pot that was put over a hot fire), which would cause a separation between the lower melting points of each metal. Impurities, which are lighter and have a higher melting point, would float to the top, where they could be easily skimmed off. Several passes were required, with the temperature being raised each time, until finally the lead would burn off, leaving only the purified metal. This was done over and over until impurities no longer rose to the surface. Then it was poured into molds to form ingots (blocks).

The intense heat of the refining pot forced the undesirable impurities in the metal to the surface, resulting in it being made more pure and more valuable. The purging love or fire of the Holy Spirit works much the same way in our lives. As God’s grace and love burns through us, it pushes the dross and impurities to the surface of our life. Each time we humble ourselves at His footstool in repentance and submission, more dross is skimmed off and we find ourselves a little more purified. God both tests and purifies our hearts by the heat of the fire that comes from the circumstances He allows in our lives. He has purposed for us to become like Him, conformed into His image just like the ingots.

God’s purpose behind every difficult circumstance in our day is to develop our character. The Lord could have kept difficulties away from so many men and women of God in the Scripture, but then they would not have been refined. He could have kept the 3 young, Hebrew men from being thrown into the fiery furnace or Daniel from being thrown into a lion’s den or Jeremiah into the slimy pit or Joseph into prison. But He didn’t. And each of them, because of the refining fire they experienced, was pulled closer to God.

“Thank You, LORD, that You are still testing, assessing, and guiding our hearts this day.”