Exodus 35-37 When I am tested, I will come forth as gold”
In Egypt, God tested his people in a severe trial of slavery. It was there that the Israelites were trained in skills such as jewelry, woodworking, and weaving. God now would call upon those skills to build His Tabernacle or dwelling place. While the people groaned under the pressure, God was forging His people to excel. He does the same for us today. We may not see or understand but know this truth: God is preparing all of us to do His kingdom work. God blessed these workers and they left Egypt with gifts of gold, silver and precious jewels in abundance, enough to pay their wages of 400+ years. As the people looked at their abundance they may have wondered why and for what purpose they had gleaned these treasures. When the perfect time came the people’s hearts were overflowing and they willingly gave so much that Moses had to tell them to stop giving!
Fast forward to the NT and we find the admonition to set aside some income for the service of the church. Imagine if today people gave and gave and gave and then had to be told to stop giving! How many missionaries could we send? How many children’s programs could we provide? How blessed our churches would be if this were true.
Just as in olden times weapons were made by those called “bladesmiths.” A Bladesmither on the TV show “Forged in Fire” takes a piece of steel, heats it to extreme temperatures to make the strongest weapon available. The weapon is then tested by others as to its sharpness and strength.
That analogy is like the message of the gospel. Christ was tested in the wilderness, mocked and scorned by those who saw him as weak. They sought to remove his weakness through the cross. Even though He was “crucified by reason of weakness … he lives because of God’s power.” We too, as believers, are seen by the world as weak but our inner strength comes because of the power of Christ who overcame the cross to be our strength. “Therefore, [Paul says] I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”
Are we content with our weaknesses allowing Christ to “forge us in fire” or do we strive to be strong in our own strength? Sometimes God sends us through the forging process to make us strong as Christ.Weathering the fire makes one strong just as the bladesmith makes the steel stronger in the fire. A believer is made strong in the “fire” that God allows so that we may be able to face the onslaught of the adversary and be holy for His kingdom work. In your weakness do you see the end result as more strength to face the next trial?
Don’t be fooled by the adversary’s words—let God take you to the forge; get your strength from the cross.