“In the whole land, says the Lord, two-thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one-third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘TheLord is our God.'” – Zechariah 13:8-9
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Zechariah 12-14, Psalm 114
Have you ever seen the refinery process for gold or silver? It can be quite an amazing process. Silver and gold in their natural states are mined and then melted to determine the amount of silver and gold present. Then, the silver and gold is refined using extreme heat and chlorine gas as it is molded into something beautiful and valuable.
In Zechariah (along with some of the other later prophets in the Old Testament), the prophet speaks about the remnant of people that will be left when thewicked have been cut off. Zechariah compares this remnant to the refining of silver and gold, as they will be purified and made holy. But refining is never easy. Being made holy and righteous in the eyes of God is not easy. There will be heat. There will be purification. But the end result is a beautiful display of God’s image within us.
There are times when we will feel the struggles of life and feel like we are in thefire. Always remember that silver and gold must go through fire before they are presented in their final form. God is not done with you. Don’t ever give up on God
This Sunday will be my last Sunday preaching in the Old Testament until 2021. As we look at the final two chapters of the Old Testament, we will begin to see how the Old and the New are connected and we will get a preview of what is coming over the next few weeks.
As always, I hope you have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship online beginning Sunday at 8:45 AM and on campus at 9:30 and 11:00 AM!
P.S. Did you know that we are on the radio? Every Sunday, you can listen to our messages on WLOV 100.3 at 1:00 PM. I’ve named this radio program “TheFront Porch” because it is a place we can gather and hear stories from scripture, but also because the imagery of the front porch reminds us of God’s grace inviting us into relationship with God. John Wesley often compared thethree expressions of grace — prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying — with three areas of a house. The front porch was described as the part of the house that welcomes us as we draw close. If you are not able to be with us in person or online for worship, I hope you will consider joining me on “The Front Porch” each Sunday at 1 PM.