Updated: Sep 30, 2020
As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise. Proverbs 27:21
When the perception to understand is stalled by the complexity of that which is before us, may we become humble in our approach with a desire to perceive. Like the verse above, at first glimpse, the reader may not comprehend its full meaning. Many are turned away for the lack of understanding, then there are those who embrace their lack of understanding as an opportunity to learn. The good in us as an individual or a collective, are only brought forth when we are tested. The way in which we undergo the circumstance of a test or a trial, it will determine who we are.
As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise. That is to say, before a silver becomes a precious metal, it must be placed in the refining pot. Therein, the rock of ore becomes the silver. Likewise, before a gold is sought after for its value and praise; the impurities and imperfections are melted away through the fire of the furnace. So then, unto us as individuals, Swaggart once wrote; Silver and gold are tested by fire, and man is tested by praise. Few endure the test; they are wise whom praise affects not.
That being the case, be not deceived, all tests are not of discomfort. An individual is most vulnerable, when he or she sees not the need of being cautious. The cautious spoken of are not the acts of worrying, or fear. For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
That which is received, must first be given. If power is bestowed upon us and love is to be reflected in us, with a sound mind, then to whom all the praise and glory belong? To the giver. The refined mind will speak through the purged lips, if any good is found in me, it’s all because of what Christ has done in me. If I am ever anything, all the praises to Christ I bring.
Where glory is due, if glory is given, the assurance of a continual blessing upon us is a guarantee; a gift from God, or a gift from our fellow men. Therein, meekness is a reminder in the time of praise to give glory to where it is due. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown wrote, as fire shows the purity, or else impurity of silver, so does praise show the virtue, or else the vanity of the man, according as he is puffed up or humble under it. The believer transfers the praise from himself to God.
For if a man is exalted by his fellow men, and he accept the praises as a pride of vanity, sooner or later his fellow men will see fit to debase him. Whom shall he turn to for protection, shall he turn to those who desire his downfall? Or, if he speaks praise of himself in vanity, will he defend himself of the onslaught when he is proven not to be what he claims to be?
This we know, The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.