Silver in Bible times was a metal for money, art, and jewelry. Many items in the Tabernacle were made of silver such as curtain hooks, hooks to hold up the curtain rods, and sockets to hold the floor to together. This symbolizes the importance of silver to God as an element to hold His Church together. Ezekiel 22:20 speaks about silver’s refining and how tin, lead, copper, and iron were the dross that had to be burned away. This refining process was done with great heat and by pouring the metal into an earthen vessel and then blowing a lot of air into that vessel.
Silver represents the religious activities of our lives, which can be useful to God, and things of beauty. “Silver things”, however, need to be imported into our earthen vessels and heat and wind (the Holy Spirit) will have to refine the silver to get rid of the dross so it will be acceptable to God. “ Silver” with the dross in it would be all the religious things we do to act righteous, make ourselves feel good, and to show-off before men; giving money to impress people, reading the Bible for the wrong reasons, volunteering to be seen by man. “Pure silver” (religion God wants) according to James 1:27 is taking care of widows and orphans and not being polluted by the world.
Gold also had to be imported into Israel and has always been a standard of wealth. Copper and silver can be added to gold to harden it and change its color, this is how we get white gold or 14 karat gold. Metal workers have known for ages that gold can be hammered into very thin sheets and used to cover things, like the work done on the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was a box made of a common wood overlaid with gold so that it would be lighter to carry.
The “gold” in our lives are the things most precious to God, but we need to know that the “copper” and “silver” must be refined out so that only pure gold will be left. If the “copper” of our good works or the “tarnished silver” of religiousness is in our gold it is not acceptable to God. “Gold” can be spread over some of the “common areas” of our life and become something of great value just like the Ark. Jesus in dealing with the woman taken in adultery showed us pure “gold”; He accepted her where she was, did not condemn her, and gave her the chance of freedom from her sins.
To view part 4 – copper.