Monday, November 10, 2008

Refined by Fire

Well it's another Monday morning, which means I have my usual grocery shopping, laundry and vacuuming up all the tumbleweeds from Luk Luk, then hopefully getting in some sewing later on.
I'm back to finish up the 6th chapter of Jeremiah 6: 22-30 - " This is what the Lord says: 'Look, an army is coming from the land of the north, a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth. They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy. They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, O Daughter of Zion.' We have heard reports about them, and our hands hang limp. Anguish has gripped us, pain like that of a woman in labor. Do not go out to the fields or walk on the roads, for the enemy has a sword, and there is terror on every side. O my people, put on sackcloth and roll in ashes; mourn with bitter wailing, as for an only son, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us. ' I have made you a tester of metals and my people are ore, that you may observe and test their ways. They are all hardened rebels, going about to slander. They are bronze and iron; they act corruptly. The bellows blow fiercely to burn away the lead with fire, but the refining goes on in vain; the wicked are not purged out. They are called rejected silver, because the Lord has rejected them".
The invaders that is spoken of in this passage are the Babylonians. Today, we would call them Iraqis. They were fierce people, and great in number.
With all the pleadings to the people to repent; all the warnings of the judgements to come, should they not repent, had no affect on them whatsoever. They are likened to ore - the dross left after silver has been put through the fire.
When we are put through the fire of life's trials, we should come out stronger and more able to be used by the Lord. Proverbs 25:4 says "Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith".
Do you how a silversmith can tell that the silver he is working with is pure and ready to be made into something beautiful? He holds it up and when he sees his own reflection, it's ready. That's exactly how it is with the Lord - he tests us and allows trials and situations to happen in our lives that aren't always pleasant - we feel like we're in the fire - but we should REJOICE in our tests and trials, because the Lord is making us into something beautiful - something that reflects His image to the world.
In these trials we go through, our sin is going to be exposed, and we need to allow the Lord to cleanse us and purge them from us. The whole process should bring us to a place of repentance; ready to go and do the work and the will of our Father.
Let us not be dross - worthless and hardened towards the Lord; let us desire to be refined silver - a beautiful reflection of the Lord Jesus, in this evil and Godless world we live in.


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