How firm a foundation

As they were studying chapter three in the book of Malachi, a group of women came across the verse that says, “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” They wondered what that statement meant about the character and nature of God.

“Later that week, one of the women made an appointment to observe a silversmith at work. He held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

“The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot - then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was necessary to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The smith answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire because if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

“Then she asked him, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?” He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s the easy part – it’s when I see my image reflected in it.”

– Ralph M. Petersen, My Song Choice For Reformation Day on Well-Meaning Gentlemen with Different Ideas.

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Lyrics

Published 1832, Anonymous.

1 How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said—
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
 
2 “Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.
 
3 “When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
 
4 “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not harm thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
 
5 “The soul that on Jesus doth lean for repose,
I will not, I will not, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.”
 
6 E’en down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

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