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The Fire: Qualified for Battle. 513. Feb 11, 2024.



KEY SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 6: 29a 

The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: 


RELEVANCE

Founders have always been important to the religious world. Even now, idols of many beliefs are fashioned by backyard founders and manufacturing facilities, pumping them out daily by the tens of thousands. 


What is a founder? 


Looking at Strong's Concordance Hebrew 6884, we find the word Tsaraph (Tsaw-raf), meaning to refine, try, and smelt metals, works we would find in a foundry.


In the Bible, gold, silver and copper smiths were founders, creating masterpieces for work in the Tabernacle or Temple on God's behalf or some structure or idol to satisfy the vanities of the godless.


Tsaraph also means to test, to find out who is qualified for battle. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for you there: and it shall be, that of whom I will say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. Judges 7:4


We know through our own testing whether we've been qualified for battle. Because we're in the Lord's army, if we're qualified, we cannot lose. It means we're ready. 


Psalms 66:10-12 & 1 Peter 1:7 use testing in the sense of suffering. Spiritually, suffering is a heat process, specifically trialling our faith. The Lord purges, trying to remove the dross of our fear and self-centredness, intending to leave solely the divine purity of His blessed charity (love's highest form).


Yet, we often resist the founder's forge, remaining the same as we were yesterday, the day before, and the year before. We limit ourselves, shying from the heat and missing out on the process. We run from battles rather than face and overcome. 


There is a saying, "True Hell is when the person you are meets the person you could have been." This saying is the great leveller. Every one of us knows its meaning, as we've all limited ourselves to some degree and wished we hadn't.  


How many of Gideon's unselected warriors reassessed their lives after the battle? With God eventually dismissing so many in favour of so few, I think many would have been embarrassed. My face is red now, wondering if God would have selected me. Jesus is a founder applying heat in many conversations to the unease of the hearer. Love your enemies? Deny yourself and follow me? The merchant man who found the Kingdom—the pearl of great price—sold all he had and bought it? Pray and give offerings in secret? Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth? 


When we have an ear to hear, the broader Bible is a founder, helping us lay down our lives before our Saviour. As the dross rises to the top and is scraped off, the Lord gives us a short break and then applies another round of heat.  


All these types of giveaways are the dross removed by the processes. Gold and silver don't burn, but the temperature burns the impurities of unworthy desires. 


We're on a wonderful journey, folks. Who would have thought that God could draw such beauty from us? All while we're living under the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is just incomprehensible.


Imagine the finished product and the blessed victories as you continue to give up the dispensible parts of your life. And don't ever forget, we're all going through this stuff together.  


PRAYER

Dear Lord, thank you for the pressure of decisions—those small choices that make the difference between who I am and who I should be. Please help me choose the fire of the right choice with joy, knowing You are furthering your will within me.

Photo by Ricardo Cruz

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