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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just like silver

Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.
Psalm 66:8-12

Silver ore and scrap silver have to go through a refining process in order for the pure silver to be separated from the dross. Cupellation is when it is heated to 1,200 degrees Celsius in a special furnace. First though, the silver scrap or ore is placed in a solution of 30 percent to 35 percent nitric acid. It takes an ounce and a half of nitric acid to dissolve one ounce of silver. The solution produces a white powder, silver chloride. When sodium carbonate is mixed with the silver chloride and placed in a cupellation furnace, the heat causes a chemical reaction and makes table salt and silver. The process works without the addition of sodium carbonate as well but then the heat releases poisonous chlorine gas as it produces the pure silver.
Read more: Process of Refining Silver |

1,200 degrees Celsius is 2,192 degrees in Fahrenheit. God wants to make us pure silver. He wants to make us look a lot better better than scrap silver and silver ore. Scrap silver is just old silver.
I couldn't find any pictures of silver ore or scrap silver that wasn't copyright, so at the end of the post, I have a link to some pictures if you want to see what it looks like.
This Psalmist says that God refines us like silver. He puts us in a 2,192 degree fire and gets ride of the bad stuff, then when he's left with pure silver, he shapes us and makes us something beautiful.
Does that sound like anything you've been through? God gives us 2,192 degree trails and some times hotter than that.
This Psalmist is writing writing about trails. "You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance."
He wants us to see that we are in 2,000 degree fire "For you, O God, tested us"
He wants us to see that God cares "Praise our God...he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping"
And that even when your going "through fire and water" in the end, you go "to a place of abundance"
In the end, you're no longer scrap silver or silver ore, your pure silver going through the fire and in the hard both hard, but by doing that, your getting rid of the scrap and your becoming pure silver.
Malachi 3:3 also talks about God as a silver refiner, saying "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver"

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.
One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.
That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.
As she watched the silversmith, 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 says: 
He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
The man answered that 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. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"
He smiled at her and answered, "
Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it."


Scrap Silver
Silver Ore
Refining Silver 1
Refining Silver 2
Pure Silver

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