As silver is melted in a furnace, so you shall be melted in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the LORD; I have poured out my wrath upon you.” —Ezekiel 22:22 ESV
Israel is pictured as impure silver. They have allowed themselves to become mingled with the world, and, as a result, they are no longer pure, but have become worthless and weak. God is pictured as a refiner of metals. God is determined to rid them of their impurities and to mold them into His image. Israel is facing the fierce judgment of Almighty God. You and I also become alloyed, or mingled, with the impurities of the world. When we do, we also lose our value and are weakened. However, unlike Israel, our sins have already been judged at Calvary and were forever forgiven at the very moment of salvation. If that’s the case, then why does it seem that so many of God’s children are in the furnace? With Israel, it was a matter of Divine judgment. With us, God is merely trying to see His image. Now, it is no fun at all being down in the furnace of trouble and trial, but God’s furnace can prove to be a wellspring of joy.