The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the Lord trieth the hearts, Pr 17:3.

Precious metals, such as silver or gold, are found in the earth. When these metals are mined, the ore in which they are found is measured in tons; but the precious metals, which are separated are measured in ounces. The refining process is done in the furnace.

Tons of ore are placed into the furnace where these precious metals are separated by melting. These metals are much heavier than the dross, and as they melt they begin to settle to the bottom of the furnace. As the furnace brings the ore up to the required heat needed to melt these precious metals, the refiner begins to stir the ore. This causes the dross to come to the surface so it can be removed, and the precious metals to settle into the fining pot.

The lesson of our text is to teach us that, "as the fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold," in like manner, "the Lord trieth the hearts." The Lord uses the furnace of affliction to refine our hearts, removing the dross, Isa 48:10.

The Psalmist says, "For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place," Ps 66:10-12.

Our text reveals to us our fallen condition by nature. When the heavenly Refiner quickens our hearts with a little self knowledge, Eph 2:1-10; we begin to understand that the dross of rebellion, pride, hatred, covetousness, conversation in the lust of the flesh and disobedience which is in our hearts is measured in tons.

It also teaches us that the precious metals of love, submission and obedience; if they are found at all, are measured in ounces.

Love is not only the choicest of these precious metals, but we are taught in 1 Co 13 that though we speak with tongues of men and angels, though we have faith to remove mountains, and though we bestow all our goods to feed the poor; if we have no love, we have nothing! "Nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness," or conformity of life to the divine law, Heb 12:11.

Oh, beloved, how blessed it is when our hard heart begins to melt, when it is stirred by some blessed portion of God's Word being applied, bringing some precious revelation of our lovely Saviour! What a precious experience it is to feel some of that dross removed, some of that rebellion broken, while our hearts lay melted before our lovely Saviour yielding those peaceable fruits of righteousness!

Oh, beloved, what a blessed assurance to know that our heavenly Refiner will continue to remove all our dross, until He can look down into that fining pot and see His own image reflecting in our melted heart, which is that molten metal! "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ," Ph'p 1:6. Amen

If ever it could come to pass,
That sheep of Christ might fall away,
My fickle, feeble soul, alas!
Would fall a thousand times a day;
Were not thy love as firm as free,
Thou wouldst take it, Lord, from me.