Psalm 66:10 For You have tried us, O God;
You have refined us as silver is refined.
vs 11 You brought us into the net;
You laid an oppressive burden upon our loins.
vs 12 You made men ride over our heads;
We went through fire and through water,
Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.
I started tearing up this morning at the word in vs 10 “You have refined me as silver is refined.”
My gut stirred as I hovered here and the next few verses. I had flashbacks of various people yelling at me while I was teaching one day on the process of silver refining. The faces turned into the faces of angry lions in my recollections. What touched their nerves so much?
Before silver is refined, it is subjected to heat by the refiner. I dared mention that it is plunged into intense heat, not once but many times until the process is completed and the refiner can see his reflection. Some argued that their God would not plunge them into such intense adversity; that it was indeed the enemy of their souls.
I know this doesn’t come as a welcome message, but the scripture that I read shows the opposite; and it is a RELIEF to know that my God, who is a Refiner, is the one who plunges me. If the enemy did it, then I have to keep fighting against him. If the One who loves my soul did it, then I am strengthened by it, even allow it, so that He may look at my life and see His reflection.
YOU brought us into the net (vs 11) The Lord Himself has led us into a trap for our enemy to find us so that the only One who can save us from ourselves or our situation becomes God. There are no other resources. No friend, no skill, no recollection or experience. Only God.
YOU laid an oppressive burden upon our loins (vs 11) The Lord Himself has laid such oppressive burdens upon our loins that we sometimes cannot stand or else we will strain ourselves. I know this is not popular but it is HERE. Yet we struggle to get free, with anti-depressants or other means. No friend can remove this oppression, no meme can comfort us, no encouraging word is able to lift it. When the Lord has laid an oppressive burden, only HE can lift it.
YOU made men ride over our heads (vs 12) The ways of arrogance of people who are unable to humble themselves may cause us to curl up in defeat or it may cause us to question what is wrong with ourselves. The Lord has sent them. The Lord has used the arrogance of people to correct everything we do and say; to shout in offense; to insult. Why? So that we will humble ourselves and become strong in the midst. Steven, one of the first deacons of the new church in Acts, was able to praise the Lord while being stoned to death. Did he acquire that strength overnight?
YET you brought us into an abundant place (vs 13). The Lord inflicts us and heals us so that NOBODY ELSE WILL GET CREDIT. He will use your enemy but He gave the command. He brings you to an abundant place; a place of freedom, a place of being able to run and dance and sing and play, but only when you understand that it was He that has led you through the valley of the shadow of death.
Your enemy doesn’t care if he got credit for the infliction. He knows that your eyes off God will cause you to change your strategy and keep on fighting against him in your own strength.
The Lord inflicts. But the Lord also delivers. The Refiner subjects the silver to intense heat, not as a means of punishment which comes after a wrong-doing, nor as a means of discipline which indicates behavior modification. He does not subject us to intense heat of wrath but out of love for the finished product.
The Refiner doesn’t order an enemy to sit and plunge the silver into the fire but He Himself sits there and plunges it in, and He doesn’t stop until He sees His reflection.
It is the act of the Refiner.
Whoever gets the credit gets the glory.