A Refined Delight
“You are to make a lampstand out of pure hammered gold. It is to be made of one piece: its base and shaft, its ornamental cups, and its calyxes and petals” (Exodus25:31). And again, “their calyxes and branches are to be one piece. All of it is to be a single hammered piece of pure gold” (Exodus 25:36). The lampstand was a vital element used in the wilderness tabernacle, established through Moses and instructed by God. In order for the single piece of gold to be pliable for shaping into the lampstand, it had to first withstand the continued heat of the refiner’s fire. The fire softens the gold and also acts as a purifying agent. The dross (what remains after the gold has been refined) is burned away and the valuable portion of the metal remains. The dross is of no value and if it remains it lessons the appraisal of the gold. After this refining process, the gold then yields into the appropriate hammered shape with a delightful gleam and a lasting endurance. “Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has a material for a vessel” (Proverbs 25:4)
“…now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7). Have you ever desired your trial (your hardship, your temptation, your pain…) to end quickly because you imagined the fire of the trial was too searing to bear? Have you ever wanted to do whatever necessary to escape your fiery ordeal only to find yourself back there a short time later? Oh Lord give us a teachable heart so that we can learn quickly and not have to repeat lessons! Like the lump of gold that had no specific use until it withstood the fire, we too must keep our feet to the refiner’s fire and endure the process until we have become pliable for the Lord’s shaping. Lord, encourage us to not desire mere escape! Confirm in us that by keeping our feet to Your fire, the worthless dross of our hearts will be burned away and what remains will be a refined vessel for the Holy Spirit!
“If anyone builds on that foundation (Jesus Christ), with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13). Persevere and desire the refiner’s fire, no matter how uncomfortable it may be, so that we can lay upon the Foundation gold, silver, and costly stones! Let us stand firms as the dross burns away!
“He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing shovel is in His hand and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn. But the chaff He will burn up with fire that never goes out” (Matthew 3:12b-13).