All scripture references are from the NASB95 Bible and are from Job chapter 28, unless otherwise noted.
"He sinks a shaft far from habitation, forgotten by the foot; they hang and swing to and fro far from men" (Job 28:4).
There is a place of beauty beyond description. The stones thereof are sapphires, and the dust thereof is gold. How can I describe the beauty and wonder of that place: that place far from the beaten path of mankind? A place of wonder, a place of riches, a place of freedom, of life unimagined, and of celestial light; a place discovered only by the most fortunate few - the place of intercession.
This is a place of wonderful union with Him who ever lives to make intercession, and in this secret mine shaft, hidden deep in the inner recesses of the heart, the wounded heart of Christ is revealed. The dust thereof is gold, the nature of the God who is love: a love so strong, so pure that it relished paying the supreme sacrifice, and in this secret place in His presence, the perfect love of God settles like dust.
This is the place of the miner. This is the place where the child of God uncovers the hidden secrets of the Kingdom, far from the eyes of men. This is the place of hidden wonder. Here, "they hang and swing to and fro far from men" (vs. 4). Just as Jesus hung alone and outside the camp, so, those who follow him there, bearing His reproach, find in the secret recesses of their heart a redemptive transaction of surrender: my life for theirs. In this place of wonder called intercession, one digs a shaft into the deepest, darkest recesses of one's own heart, expecting to find the beasts of pride and selfishness, or the birds of unclean thoughts or motives, only to find charity: the perfect love of God. "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13), and in this place, where no natural light shines, the fire of God uncovers gold and silver.
"Surely there is a mine for silver and a place where they refine gold" (vs. 1). Gold, the nature of God, and silver, the work of redemption, are the predominant elements of this hidden world. This is a place "turned up as by fire" (vs. 5). There is a path "no bird of prey knows, nor has the falcon's eye caught sight of it. The proud beasts have not trodden it, nor has the fierce lion passed over it" (vs. 7, 8). This is a place near the heart of God; a place of exchange; a place of the one dying for the many; a place of such freedom from the beast of the old nature and from him who goes about as a roaring lion, that to visit this place is to visit heaven.
"Surely there is a mine for silver and a place where they refine gold" (vs. 1). There is a place of wonder and beauty where natural light is shut out and the only light is from the fire of God that ignites the torch of the miner. Here, he uncovers all its treasures, and "what is hidden he brings out to the light" (vs. 11). Here, "to the farthest limit he searches out The Rock [that is Christ Jesus] in gloom and deep shadow" (vs. 3) Here, he finds occupation, the very reason for his existence, as his heart cries out with inexpressible joy, "For this was I created!" Here, he is in his element, and though it is a hostile environment for his physical body, it is the only place he has found of the perfect rest promised to weary pilgrims in search of a city that has foundations.
Here, far from man, in places forgotten by the feet of man, he carries out transactions with God. Here, he is brought into the fellowship of His sufferings to a degree that goes beyond even the silent turning of the cheek to those who would smite it. This is uncovering the treasured surrender produced by the pressure and heat of scourgings and piercings among men. This is uncovering the gold away from men. This is finding the treasures hidden deep within the heart of Jesus and being united with Him in His redemptive work. This is being at one with Him, and who could possibly describe the wonder of this place?