He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. (Malachi 3: 3)
Our Father, who seeks to perfect His saints in holiness, knows the value of the refiner’s fire. It is with the most precious metals that a metallurgist will take the greatest care. He subjects the metal to a hot fire, for only the refiner’s fire will melt the metal, release the dross, and allow the remaining, pure metal to take a new and perfect shape in the mold.
A good refiner never leaves the crucible but, as the above verse indicates, “will sit” down by it so the fire will not become even one degree too hot and possibly harm the metal. And as soon as he skims the last bit of dross from the surface and sees his face reflected in the pure metal, he extinguishes the fire.
~Arthur Tappan Pierson
He sat by a fire of sevenfold heat,
As He looked at the precious ore, And closer He bent with a searching gaze
As He heated it more and more.
He knew He had ore that could stand the test,
And He wanted the finest gold
To mold as a crown for the King to wear,
Set with gems with a price untold.
So He laid our gold in the burning fire,
Though we would have asked for delay,
And He watched the dross that we had not seen,
And it melted and passed away.
And the gold grew brighter and yet more bright,
But our eyes were so dim with tears,
We saw but the fire— not the Master’s hand,
And questioned with anxious fears.
Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow,
As it mirrored a Form above,
That bent o’er the fire, though unseen by us, With a look of unspeakable love.
Should we think that it pleases His loving heart
To cause us a moment’s pain?
Not so! for He saw through the present cross
The joy of eternal gain.
So He waited there with a watchful eye,
With a love that is strong and sure,
And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat,
Than was needed to make it pure.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 408). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.