119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes. (NIV)
ESV - 119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies.
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After metallic ore (particularly in the case of precious metals such as gold or silver) is mined from the earth, the ore is subjected to a refining process that separates the valuable or precious part of the ore (that is, the gold or silver itself) from the valueless surrounding material in which it is contained, which is referred to as dross, and which is then discarded. In this life and world, God's followers are mingled with those who oppose Him, or who do not repent of their sin by seeking the forgiveness that He offers in Christ. In the judgment at the close of the age, the two groups will be separated by God, with the ensuing fate of the lost being compared in the psalm to the discarding of the dross. Jesus made a similar point in His parable (in Matthew 13:24-43) of the wheat and the tares growing together in the field, which will be separated at the time of harvest, with the wheat being gathered into barns, but the tares being burned.
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