Proverbs 17:3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.
The words test and tempt can get confused. Jesus was tested in life as we are; God does not tempt us.
Silver and gold can be “tested” through fire. This refines or purifies what is genuine and burns off the dross – other elements that might be within the piece of precious metal. The point of the proverb is that only God can test our hearts. The apostle Paul picks up this thought:
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, (13) their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. (14) If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. (15) If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
Much is being said about Prince Philip – we honour such a well-lived life. He made use of the opportunities he was given. A challenge to us all about the opportunities to serve that God gives each of us. One thing that has been celebrated is that there are thousands of people (including young people) whose lives have been helped, even transformed, by his example and ideas (esp. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards). There was even comment about a devoted Christian life. Archbishop Welby said:
“I also join many people in giving thanks for the marriage of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, and for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Theirs was a marriage grounded in friendship and mutual respect and sustained by shared faith in Christ.
“I pray that God will comfort Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at this time. May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in glory.”