This week's Devotional: Refined in a Furnace
And the words of the LORD are ﬂawless, like silver reﬁned in a furnace of clay, puriﬁed seven times.
These are the words that are brought to us in Scripture. They are ﬂawless—without error‚ totally and absolutely reliable.
Do you perhaps wonder at that statement, knowing that these words have come to us through human agents, men who were weak and fallible, and who made many mistakes? (Often, in fact, their mistakes were actually recorded in Scripture.) How then can it be that the Bible’s message is absolutely infallible and authoritative?
To answer this question, David presents us with a vivid picture—a picture of silver being puriﬁed in an oven of clay. (Such clay ovens are still used among the people of the Middle East today.) In David’s picture there are three main elements: the furnace of clay; the silver that is to be puriﬁed; and the purifying ﬁre.
The furnace of clay represents the human instruments through whom the message of Scripture is brought. The silver represents the message itself. The purifying ﬁre represents the work of the Holy Spirit. The silver is puriﬁed “seven times.” In Scripture the number seven is particularly associated with the Holy Spirit. In his vision on Patmos, for example, John saw the Holy Spirit as “seven lamps of ﬁre” (Revelation 4:5 KJV). Secondarily, the number seven suggests completeness or perfection.
As the words of Scripture come to us through the furnace of human clay, they have been completely puriﬁed by the ﬁre of the Holy Spirit. The “dross” of human error has been fully purged. Thus they are ﬂawless. “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold (Psalm 119:72).
This devotional is taken from