Purified Like Gold

by Kendrick Diaz - July 9, 2019

Throughout the Bible, God refers to us, His people, as wheat, clay, sheep, silver and—my all-time favorite—gold. Just why does God use that analogy? What are its implications for us?

Job suffered. And I mean he really suffered. I could write a lengthy description of the traumatic events that took place in his life—the shocking level of affliction he experienced—and even that wouldn’t do him any justice.

Yet through it all, Job made this profound statement: “But He [God] knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).

Job lost everything—his sons, his daughters, his possessions—all of it. Gone. To make matters worse, he was struck with “painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2:7). Were we to experience that kind of trial, the last thing most of us would think about would be, “I shall come forth as gold.”

Just what did Job mean by that? What does that mean for us?

The refiner’s fire

Have you ever seen raw gold? I have. Let me tell you—it looks nothing like the gold you see in a jewelry store. Every gold necklace, earring or bracelet you see has been purified. That gold, when first discovered, may have been an eroded lump of rock covered in alloy and dirt. It probably wasn’t the prettiest sight, bearing hardly any resemblance to what we know to be gold.

Regardless, to the person who found it, it was an exciting discovery because of its potential.

That raw gold was then deposited into a crucible, placed in a furnace, and heated to a scorching 1,000 degrees Celsius. The refiner would periodically remove the crucible from the furnace, skim off the exposed impurities, and return it to the heat. This process was repeated over and over and over again.

Into the heat. Out of the heat. Into the heat. Out of the heat.

The Christian Standard Bible translates Job 23:10 this way: “Yet he knows the way I have taken; when he has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.” Not just any gold—pure gold. And when the refining process is completed, that’s exactly what you’re left with—pure, uncontaminated gold.  

We’re being refined

God is our purifier; we are that lump of rock. And He says, “I have refined you, … I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10). And He is doing this with each and every one of us. But His job isn’t done. Not yet. We aren’t ready. We do not yet completely reflect His character.

With every passing day, the world becomes a harder place to be a Christian. For some of us, Christianity comes at the expense of friends, family members, loved ones, jobs, reputations—the list could go on and on. Yet, despite these losses, God continues to allow the heat to be cranked up. He’s using that heat to remove every deformity, every flaw, every blemish—anything that distorts His reflection.

Whatever you’re going through, don’t worry. Just repeat after me: I will come forth as pure gold.

And with God’s help, you will.

For more insight on lessons we can learn from Job’s experience, read “Be Resilient Like Job.”

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