“The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.” – Proverbs 17:3 (ESV)
A crucible is a very specialized container that is used to heat metal to the point of melting it. It is a necessary step in the refining process of changing what is unusable into something usable and more valuable. Our verse speaks of refining silver and gold so that it can be suitable for other purposes. This proverb of Solomon teaches us that God allows us to be in the crucible in order to test us. One of the purposes of melting and refining is to burn away the dross and other impurities. It also is to form, shape and strengthen the metal. God does test our hearts for it is our heart’s devotion and love that he wants from us. Another verse in the Old Testament and in the New Testament says that we are to love the Lord our God with our whole heart. In order for that to happen, we have to allow God to refine our hearts in the crucible of life. That is not something we really choose to go through but when we do, we come out knowing and loving God in a more perfect way. It’s a promise, let’s embrace it.
“If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:4-5 (NASB)
Yesterday’s promise from God was what comes from fearing the LORD God – a start at knowledge and wisdom. Today’s verse tells us the promise for those who seek wisdom as if it is a precious metal. But the verses before, (Proverbs 2:1-3) give us more on how we can understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. There are six actions that proceed seeking knowledge as if it is as precious as silver. Receive the Word of God; Treasure up God’s commandments; Open our ears to what wisdom is saying; Have a heart to receive understanding; Call out for discernment and Speak out for understanding. Effort must be expended for one to become wise. Getting wisdom involves openness, retention, hearing with the ear, applying with the heart, requesting, and diligent searching. This is the pathway to possessing understanding and finding the knowledge of God. A person who strives for wisdom will find that wisdom will enter their heart. Gaining wisdom requires diligence on our part in pursuing God’s will; yet wisdom is a gift, a promise from God. Possession of such knowledge from God results in inner joy and Godly pleasure.
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