The Refiner’s Fire
March 29, 2023 by Kevin Brooks
I did a little research on something I came across in my daily reading, and it’s so cool- I wanted to share it…
Malachi 3:3 reveals that the Lord comes both “like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap.” And so, I found out that the “fullers’ soap” (or alkali) was a strong soap used in the ancient Near East to whiten clothing.
But it was the refiner’s fire that was really cool. This is a method of purifying precious metals with intense heat. Impurities rise to the top where they can be skimmed off and discarded. Here’s what’s cool;  the way a refiner knows that the process of purification is complete is by looking into the open furnace and checking the reflection. He knows the bad stuff, the impurities, have all burnt away when he can see his reflection clearly.
As Lisa Tuerkurst writes about this, she says, “This is what we were made to do — to clearly reflect the image of our Maker. Genesis 1:27 tells us God created us in His likeness and image. But when sin entered the world, we were marred by sin. We were left spiritually disfigured and defiled. The purification process removes that sin and disfigurement and restores our ability to reflect the goodness of God Himself.”
Another name for this refining work is sanctification. It’s the Lord’s continual process of making us holy and wholly set apart for Him. And it’s not comfortable when we get put into that furnace, we suffer…  but it’s the process by which we are made to reflect our maker.