He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD. Malachi 3:3 (NLT)
I was listening to a piece at church by Shekinah Glory Ministry titled, “Ascending Higher/Refiner’s Fire”. It’s a very powerful song that I was hearing during prayer time. In the piece, the singers asked God, “Anything that’s not like You take it away. Anything that’s not like You, burn it away”.
As we read in the above piece, God through the prophet Malachi was speaking of a coming judgement where a Divine agent will purify Israel’s priesthood, the Levites so that they can offer up to God acceptable sacrifices. If you’ve read Malachi (a minor prophet and last book of the Old Testament), you see where the Levites weren’t doing their job and offering crappy sacrifices unto the Lord. God was getting PO’d with Israel, and was warning her through Malachi about the coming judgement. Some commentators say that the “He” in the above passage was a prophecy of Jesus.
For years, people have used fire to purify precious metals such as gold and silver of any natural impurities. When super heated in fire, impurities (“dross”) are burned away as the heat separates them from the gold or silver. This purifying process is called “refining”, obviously making the precious metals more valuable in their market. This process is not just in the Bible days, it’s still being done in our age.
If you read Scripture, you’ll soon realize that God is the refining fire. He burns away anything, anyone, or anyplace from our lives that keep us impure. When we let Him/Her, the refining fire of God begins a transformative (and sometimes painful) process in our lives where the “dross” we’ve held-whatever crap it is-burned off of us. The purifying could come in the form of life events that shake us to the core. They could also be people and things that walk, or are taken, from our lives. They could also be places we’ve camped out at too long for our own good, and God’s got to run us out of them.
As in the above passage, when God refines us, we can offer up our “acceptable sacrifices” like the transformed Levites. Now, I’m not talking about the animal sacrifices the Bible spoke of. No, our sacrifices are our lives and our selves to God. We are more open to Him/Her with the impurities gone. We can be free to serve (offer up sacrifices) God and others in our lives by truly living the lives God desires us to live without the dross that could easily interfere and hold us back.
Do we need refining? Yes we do. Let’s call on God so He/She can unleash that refining and purifying fire in our lives, so that we can be pure and valuable to God and our fellow human beings.