Proverbs 25:4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
These verse have direct application to politics as we know that any nation which harbors or gives asylum to evil men is doomed and any political leader that does the same is corrupt and so is guilty before God and unfit for a throne which is one symbol of authority, especially authority which remains whereas a throne is a seat of power which does not move.
Dross is the impurity which floats to the top of molten metal which is spooned off as part of the purification process. Even entirely pure metal will have some dross as the molten metal mixes with the air to create an oxide.
Artist’s Insight Note: In the case of lead smelting the oxidized dross can be used to create two types of paint pigment, one of which is white (lead-oxide) called lead-white which is poisonous but highly desirable to classical painters and one which is warm red (lead-oxide processed further by reheating further roasting the oxide in the open air) called minium or red lead. Originally minium was used frequently as it was cheaper alternative to genuine cinnabar vermilion, but it has fallen out of popular use because of its poisonous nature and it has been replaced with cadmium or one of the even less toxic reds found on most artists palettes like naphthol red or pyrrole red, but it is still used by classical painters occasionally.
Metal ore processing follows this manner: In the initial smelting process rock containing the ore is crushed by a hammer against an anvil and reduced to powder and put into a pot made of ceramic or iron called a “crucible” and the pot heated in a furnace. The ore gathers into a slag of metal called a “bloom” which, as it cools slightly and begins to congeal, can be pulled from and removed from the major impurities surrounding it that will not congeal into a solid piece of metal, and any impurities stuck to the surface of the bloom can be broken off with a hammer when it is cool. Then the bloom can be further processed by reducing it to molten metal again and spooning off whatever floats to the top to purify it still. Each time the metal is reprocessed in this manner is becomes more pure.
The metal lead (pb) must be separated from silver (ag) as lead is an inferior, but useful, soft metal but found in much greater quantities so that a lot of lead (about 86 percent of the metal in the lead sulfide ore called galena is lead) must be processed before the valuable silver recovered.
The basic manner in which silver is purified and the lead separated is known as “cupellation” where air is blown across the top of the molten metal. In ancient days the metal would reside in a bone ash pot made deer antler which had been charred to harden it. The oxidizing lead on surface was litharge (PbO) which would be spooned from the top and pure silver would be found in the cupell pot.
There are a lot of spiritual lessons that can be taught from the discipline of metallurgy which I will try to write about in due time, but for now I’ll keep my comments few and just make a few salient points.
One: The world has both evil and good people mixed together and God will separate them in due time, as he said, for the tares and the wheat grow together.
Two: The process will include trials by fire for both the wicked and the just representing the tribulation for the wicked and the judgment seat of Christ for the just where our good works will be preserved as refined metals and colour enhanced precious stones. The chaff will be burned away and the good works remain as our rewards, but the wicked will be further punished even after their trial by being sent into the fire everlasting, which is first hell and then the lake of fire.
Three: The word of God is tried as silver, which implies that it had to be purified and purified still as false doctrines and corruption is inserted into the teachings and text of the Bible by way of manuscript adulteration, interpolations, and bad and wicked translations.
Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
I Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Proverbs Chapter 25 Full Text
Proverbs 25:1 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:
7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.
8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.
9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; and discover not a secret to another:
10 Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.
12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.
14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.
17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour is a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.
19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.
20 As he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon nitre, so is he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.
21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
27 It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory.
28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.