3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
We learn in Genesis that God made man in his own image. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve ruined that image for all time by disobeying God right out of the gate.
Think of when you might have gotten the kids cleaned up to go somewhere. Your son is decked out in his little suit and tie. His sister is adorable in her new dress. You leave for just a moment to get the camera. When you return with the camera…
Johnny’s suit and shirt are smeared with, good grief, who knows what?!? Susie’s dress is in similar shape. Obviously there was some goo transfer as they wrestled on the floor, laughing and shrieking with delight.
They’re your kids. You made them and dressed them, and they’re beautiful! They just ruined it. This is going to take some work on two fronts. First, clean up this horrid mess. Second, try to teach them and change their behavior to NEVER DO THAT AGAIN!
Sounds to me like the same sort of scenario God faces with humanity. Sure, He’s very upset about it, and there is some smiting do be done, but He still loves us. Jesus’ blood makes our garments white as snow.
That leaves the behavior modification. So, instead of romping around Creation with us, having a grand time, fun gets put on hold for the foreseeable future. Out comes the strap, the corner, the timeouts, the yelling, etc.
Because He loves us, right? RIGHT?
Actually, yes. He melts us down time and again, pouring off the slag each time to refine us into the purest gold, the most beautiful people He can make us.
There’s one more dimension to this analogy. I was responding to a blog with the verse from Malachi last night. BeautyBeyondBones replied back that she had learned that a gold refiner knows the process is complete…when he can see his own reflection in the liquid gold! Isn’t that something?
I think God refines us until we can be what he created us to be; the one part of creation that was made in His image. God’s mirror!