21 How did a faithful city become like a whore? She was full of justice, righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. 22 Your silver has become dross; Your wine diluted with water. 23 Your princes rebel and take up with thieves. Every one loves a bribe and runs after hand-outs. They do not defend an orphan and legally protecting a widow does not occur to them. 24 Therefore, here is the declaration of the Lord Yahveh of armies, the Mighty One of Israel: “Ah, I will be relieved of my enemies, and I will avenge myself on my foes. 25 And I will turn my hand against you; I will purify your dross like lye cleans, and I will remove all your tin. 26 And I will restore your judges, as at the first, and your counselors, as at the beginning. After this it will be called for you the city of righteousness, faithful city.”
I will purify your dross
The LORD asks “how did this happen?” The once faithful bride has now become an adulterous whore. It is not too hard to see the picture. The question then is, what is God going to do about it. He had already given his city a chance to repent and become clean of her bloody hands. Now, he promises that if she does not get clean that way, he will do it for her. He will purify her dross. The picture there is one of smelting ore, removing all its extraneous dross. That is done in a hot furnace. It is a picture of a painful procedure for the city. People will die, devastation and danger will occur. God is serious about restoration.
Ultimately, this is the reason for judgment and hell. God does not turn his back on sin. All the rebellious and sinful must be destroyed. God is going to get rid of the dross. Eternity will not consist of both the good and the evil. Evil will end.
LORD, clean us now by the blood of Christ. We know that hell will put an end to all who are not fit for eternity with you.