By John Greco
“Good to the last drop.” That’s the longtime product slogan for Maxwell House coffee. I’m something of a grammar nerd, so I want to ask, “What’s wrong with that last drop?” Apparently, I’m not the only one. I recently read that since the company first started using that tagline, people have been sending letters and emails facetiously asking if the last drop is less than good, just so-so, or downright poison. But “good through the last drop,” while more accurate, doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue in the same way.
All this has me thinking: Would you drink a cup of coffee if one drop of it was something less than good—a spot of bubonic plague perhaps, maybe just a little bit of paint thinner, or a dash of DDT? Probably not. Whether it’s coffee or something else we hope to enjoy, we want purity, plain and simple. Even if ninety-nine percent of the thing is perfect, a little bit of nastiness will ruin the whole batch.
God has always wanted purity from His people. He calls those He loves to be undivided in their loyalties and obedient to His commands. In the book of Jeremiah, God compares the people of Judah to silver, and He makes Jeremiah as a tester of precious metals: “I have appointed you to be an assayer among my people—a refiner—so you may know and assay their way of life” (Jeremiah 6:27). What Jeremiah finds, however, is that more than just a drop of the silver is impure. “They are bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt” (v. 28).
In ancient metalworking, lead and fire were used to draw out the impurities in silver (see v.29). These impurities included lesser metals like bronze and iron. Jeremiah was called by God to be “lead” for the people of Judah. But the more he attempted to purify the people, the more he found nothing but bronze and iron. In the end, the people of Judah “are called rejected silver, for the LORD has rejected them” (v.30).
Years later, Judah would be attacked by Babylon. The nation would fall, and its people would be led away into exile. Sad as that is, you and I are no less impure. We, too, are more iron and bronze than silver. But that is why Christ came. He stands in our place today so that God sees Christ’s perfect purity instead of our imperfections. But God hasn’t changed His mind about wanting a people marked by purity, so He sent His Holy Spirit to purify us and make us holy. He is the lead that brings our impurities to the surface. One day, all who know Christ will be made new. We will be pristine and spotless—the purest silver imaginable, every drop as good as the last.
Written by John Greco