Today’s word for April 17, 2011

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart.
Proverbs 17:3

Gold and silver have been highly prized metals since the dawn of history. Their beauty and malleability have made them the favorite metals all over the world and one can hardly find a culture where these two metals are not appreciated. From a chemical standpoint, these two metals are pure, i.e. they are not combined with other chemical substances and they do not react easily with other elements to form compounds. For this reason, they support very well the attack of acids or strong alkalis and that is why they are known as noble metals. Also for this reason they can be found in nature in pure form or as elements ─as for example the rich silver mines in Zacatecas─ unlike other metals such as iron, copper or aluminum which must be extracted from an ore. However, in their natural form some impurities may be present that can only be removed by melting the metal. When the metal is subjected to high temperatures the unwanted material can be separated in the form of slag which floats on the molten metal and can be easily removed.

This long explanation is necessary because the heart of man is very similar to these two noble metals. Almost everything that can be said of gold and silver also applies to the human heart. God subjected the hearts of men to high pressures and temperatures by trials in order to eliminate the slag that makes them unclean. That is why Moses urged the people of Israel after they left Egypt with these words: “Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” Also, the psalmist King David said: “Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” Let us understand, then, that when we are confronted with trials and we feel the fury of the fire on our lives, our heart is being examined and purified so it becomes closer to the heart of God. To God alone be the glory!


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