He knows what he’s doing

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the LORD will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). The word translated iniquity ’âven (aw – ven´) is derived from a root word meaning ‘to be strong'” (205). The idea behind this word is exercise or to exert oneself. It could be that aven is describing self-sufficiency or action that is independent of God. Ultimately, the action leads to misfortune and is considered to be a wasted effort.

In order to keep them from iniquity or a reliance on themselves, God tries or tests his children. It says in Psalm 66, “For thou, O God, hast proved us: Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidest affliction upon our loins” (Psalm 66:10-11). The purpose of affliction or distress is to bring us to the point where we no longer rely on ourselves. God wants us to depend on him in times of trouble, so he lets the pressure build until we cry out to him for help.

To be tried as silver is tried means that you go through a process of refinement similar to what a gold smith uses to purify his metal. Those who have been purified “call on the name of the LORD” and are “qualified for battle” (6884). The testing God puts us through is intended to expose those that are lacking in faith or are self-reliant and therefore, destined for failure.

David said, “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest” (Psalm 65:4). The word translated choosest, bâchar (baw – khar´) is properly translated as to try (977). Therefore, it could be said, blessed is the man that God tries or the person that God puts through the purification process of affliction. In other words, we should be happy that God does not leave us to our own means and allow us to become so strong that we think we can handle things on our own.

The best position to be in is one of contentment. It says in Psalm 66:12, “We went through fire and through water: but thou brought us out into a wealthy place.” The result of purification is satisfaction. The wealthy place is the place where all of our needs are met, we are completely satisfied with our lives.

The goal of the silversmith is to transform his metal into a final product, usually one with a practical purpose. Before he begins work, the silversmith may investigate and test his metal to see what its capabilities are and determine its best use. It is within the silversmith’s power to make the metal into whatever he wants it to be, but his knowledge of and experience working with metal guide him in the decision making process. When God sets out to transform a life, he does so with a knowledge of the individual’s breaking point, how much pressure he or she can withstand, and the experience of listening to her cries since birth.

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