“Son of man, the house of Israel is to me become dross: all they are brass, and tin, and iron, and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are even the dross of silver.” Ezekiel 22:18
God is very particular about the spiritual condition of His people. As the Lord communicated with Ezekiel concerning Israel, He compared them to metals, both common and precious. God told Ezekiel that His people were becoming dross. Dross is a descriptive word that refers to the impurities found in metals. The less valuable metals mentioned were brass, tin, iron, and lead, all inferior to the finer metal of silver. God wanted the house of Israel to be silver, but they were becoming less like silver and more like the lesser metals.
What do you think God wants us to be? Would He prefer that we be common and less valuable like lead or tin, or would He want us to be valuable and precious like silver or gold? We would all agree that God wants us to be like silver and gold. Brass, tin, iron, and lead have their place, but God intended for His children to be silver. God pointed out to them that there was too much dross, or impurities, in their lives. For us to be everything that God wants us to be, the dross has to be removed from our lives. This is the work of the refiner, to separate the dross from the pure ore.
What are we becoming? We are either becoming valuable silver or we are becoming dross. Israel had previously been in a purer, more useful state than they were during the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy. But, they had degenerated to a deplorable and miserable condition. We are either becoming purer and more valuable for God’s service, or we are becoming corrupt and less useable as a vessel unto honor.
God has a program for making us more Christ-like and removing the impurities from our lives. The refiner would use intense heat to liquefy the metal, thus making it possible to separate the silver from the dross. The Word of God teaches that God lovingly uses trials and correction to purify and purge us. He has a purpose for each of us.
In addition, we should be consistently seeking to remove the impurities from our lives. As we distance ourselves from attitudes, hobbies, relationships, wrong priorities, etc., that are not consistent with the character that Christ is wanting to develop in us, we too will remove the dross and become more like precious silver for God’s glory.