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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:
Proverbs 27:21 - "The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise."
Gold is tested in the fire. Before my father retired, he worked as an inorganic chemist in the Bay Area of California. One of his jobs was testing (assaying) gold.
To do this, my father wrapped the gold sample in lead and put the small bead of gold, which was to be tested, into a crucible. A crucible is a container that can withstand very high temperatures and is used for testing gold. In ancient times, crucibles were made of clay.
A Muf oven is used to melt the gold at about 3000 degrees centigrade, which is 5432 degrees Fahrenheit. Under this extreme heat the gold is quickly reduced to liquid and the lead wrapping burns off entirely.
The crucible containing the bead of liquid gold is removed from the oven. For the next few minutes, the chemist watches the gold closely. If the gold is pure, and only if it is pure, something amazing happens, which a chemist calls a "blick". Suddenly, as if the molten gold had turned into a light-bulb, the pure gold "turns on" and radiates light! It is amazing to see! And it only happens if the gold sample is 100% pure.
This process is what the Bible means when it refers to gold and silver being "tested" in a crucible in the furnace. The testing is to determine the purity of the metal.
There is a test for people too. We are testing by the praise we receive. The praise which people give us, when we do "well" is the test which determines the purity of our characters. If we react by taking credit for the blessings God has wrought through our lives and influence, we will test out as "impure", having pride. But, when we faithfully glorify God instead of taking credit for what He has blessed us to accomplish, will we pass the praise test. Check out the following short video : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXFryywhxJY