“Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer” (Proverbs 25:4).
Within the confines of this one verse from Proverbs is not only one of the greatest calls for repentance but the divine explanation as to why. We are the silver, the vessel. God is the finer. It is time to rid ourselves of the dross and move forward in God.
“Take away the dross”. Dross, to put it bluntly is scum. It is the residue that pools on the surface of molten metal. Dross is the foreign matter that has tainted and corrupted the pure, in this case silver.
To separate the dross from the silver you have to apply heat. A lot of heat is required to melt silver. The silver, once a solid now turns into liquid. It is in this altered state that the dross becomes obvious and is easily removed.
This metaphor of silver and dross is about us and our sin. Rarely do we identify sin within ourselves when everything is sailing along smoothly. Usually it is adversity in life that puts us in a position and in the condition, the “altered state” to recognize the sin within. Adversity whether it is caused by a relationship, finances, addiction, emotions, etc. is the heat. For those of God this adversity, this heat is a chastening.
“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:6-8, 11).
Identifying the dross, the sin within that rises to the surface is part of repentance. To identify sin we must know what sin is. This means we must first know God and His word. Righteousness should be our constant pursuit and our perpetual sieve. Filter our lives through God and the dross will be removed.
But this identification of sin and purification of self is just half of the process. “There shall come forth a vessel for the finer”. God removes Himself from sin and unrighteousness. When we apply His word to our sin it removes the dross and makes us presentable to Him. Once in God’s hands we become the clay and He the potter. Our lives get on track and have meaning and purpose because God will now shape and form us how He intended.
Sin is an impediment. It is rebellion against God. It is friction as our way resists against God’s way. It creates strife, grief and angst. Removing the dross, removes the sin and ready’s us for God and His plan for us. Life has meaning, joy and happiness.
Fortunately, we do not have to wait for something bad to happen in life to discover sin. Staying in the word of God and in prayer to Him will make the dross evident. This is the constant state of repentance we should all be in. find the sin, give it all to God and move forward in Him and by Him.
“But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness” (Malachi 3:2-3).
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