“For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” – Psalm 66:10
Silver, one of the precious metals, is most often found in coins, jewelry and other items that we value. It is mentioned quite a lot in the Bible, mostly as a material used for trade, or as a construction material for the tabernacle. However, when God talks about it, He’s pointing to the quality of our character, or faith. Silver is symbolic of purity, a Spirit-life, a life valuable to God.
Silver in its natural state is found mixed with other minerals. It is rare to find it in a pure state. In order to refine it, silver has to be melted at a high temperature. In Biblical times, the crucible used for refining silver was often made of bone ash, an absorbent material that drew out the impurities when heated. The process utilized a blast of air in order to increase the heat.
When God finds us, we are often in an equally unrefined state, mixed with lots of impurities from the environment around us. God needs to put us into the furnace, blow on us with His Spirit and separate out what doesn’t belong. The heating process changes us; our rebellion and resistance are puddled by the fire. The crucified body of Christ draws the impurity from our lives; He gives us the opportunity to now become what we were originally designed to be.
Too often we resist this refining process. The intensity of the heat makes us want to short-cut the process, to leap out of the fire. However, we only reach purity by staying in the crucible until we are ready to be poured out.
One of the lesser known properties of silver is that of purifier. Water filtering systems have used silver as a sterilizer. When God cleans up our life, we are then useful as a purifier for others. We are able to help filter out what doesn’t belong, what contaminates and alters destiny and divine purpose in others. This is not about judgment or criticism—it’s about a pure presence that changes the environment. We help pull out what has gotten in the way and reflect the face of our Lord for others to see.