Proverbs Day 17 – Getting rid of impurities

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts. (Proverbs 17:3 ESV)

God is at work in us, conforming us to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29 ESV). But he compares testing our hearts to the purifying of silver in a crucible and gold in a furnace. The process demands and develops trust in the goodness and faithfulness of God. We will be consistently challenged to submit our will to his.

Consider the testing faced by men and women in the Bible…

  • Abraham, who left his homeland and was willing to sacrifice his son
  • Moses, who returned to Egypt to entreat the king to let God’s people go
  • Joshua, who led the Israelites into the promised land
  • Ruth, who was sent to lay at the feet of Boaz
  • Hannah, who gave Samuel into the service of the Lord as a child
  • Joseph, who endured captivity and imprisonment
  • Meshach and Abednego, who were thrown into a fiery furnace
  • Daniel, who was thrown into a lion’s den
  • David, who fled for his life
  • Esther, who approached the king on behalf of her people at the risk of her life
  • Job, who lost children, possessions, health, and reputation
  • Rahab, who hid Israelite spies, then trusted them for her deliverance
  • Mary, who was with child – but without a husband
  • John, who was imprisoned and beheaded
  • Jesus, who was crucified

This list may awaken a fear of the Lord in us. But take heart, the Bible calls these trials light and momentary and says they are achieving for us an eternal glory which far outweighs them all. (II Corinthians 4:17 NIV)

So, trusting Christ to give us strength, let’s face the testing of our hearts with assurance God will complete the good work he began in us. (Philippians 1:6 ESV)

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (Zechariah 13:9 ESV)

 

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