“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.“
Jesus, the master teacher, taught with parables and metaphors. He was Jewish and knew the things valuable to Jews. Salt was one of them. We may only see salt as a seasoning for French fries or chips. But salt was and still carries so much more important in the Middle East and around the world.
To those in the Middle East, salt is a symbol of covenant, loyalty, honesty, fidelity, un-corruptable, (germs cannot grow in salt), and hospitality.
In the natural, salt adjusts healthy ph. It helps our brain cells, blood sugar, prevents muscle cramps, and enhances bone health. It promotes regular sleep, helps in food absorption, and maintains respiratory health. Himalayan salt has 84 elements needed by the body to remain healthy.
But not all salt is equal. Table salt has 2 elements that dehydrate you. It removes healthy elements from your body. Table salt causes high blood pressure, kidney, heart, and liver problems, gout, rheumatism, and gall bladder problems.
Salt marks covenant. God commanded that offerings were to include salt.
Leviticus 2:13 And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.
Numbers 18:19 “All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer to the Lord, I have given to you and your sons and daughters with you as an ordinance forever; it is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord with you and your descendants with you.”
Ezekiel 43:22-24 On the second day you shall offer a kid of the goats without blemish for a sin offering; and they shall cleanse the altar, as they cleansed it with the bull. 23 When you have finished cleansing it, you shall offer a young bull without blemish, and a ram from the flock without blemish. 24 When you offer them before the Lord, the priests shall throw salt on them, and they will offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.
And the salt of covenant reaches us as disciples of Christ.
2 Chronicles 13:5 Should you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt?
Jesus is a descendant of David, and we are His sons and daughters—His disciples. We are included in the covenant of salt.
When an Arab family puts salt on the table when guests are invited for supper, they are saying, we want to be in covenant with you. If people eat salt together during a meal, it is a covenant meal. Forever after, they are closer than brothers—a lifetime bond.
In Pakistan and other Middle East countries, the word for treaty and the word for salt is the same.
So, salt is a sign of covenant, but it is also a sign of devotion and loyalty. To be in salt covenant with Jesus means we are willing to do what Jesus commands as His disciples. If we are unwilling to stay true to covenant, we are good for nothing other than to be thrown on the ground and trampled underfoot.
In Colossians 4:5-6 Paul has an interesting thing to say about salt. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt that you may know how you ought to answer each one. In other words, speak truth to those who are not Christ’s followers. But be gracious in your delivery so they take in what you say.
Salt preserves meat from decay. It is a cleansing agent and healing. Are our words speaking truth that draw people away from sin? Do our words condemn people or wash them with God’s love and truth?
We could say that what comes out of our mouths either salts the conversation with a blessing or removes blessing and curses instead. We are to preserve and glorify the Word of God by the way we speak.
Colossians 3:16-17 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Salt also is an equalizer. Take a group of people and give each one of them a saltshaker. You can use salt packets, sterling silver shakers, or anything between. Ask each of them to come forward and empty their salt into a communal bowl. Now, ask them to come forward and remove their salt.
It’s impossible. Salt is salt, and every grain looks the same.
Regardless of our station in life, our income or intelligence, our physical ability or talent, we are all equal in covenant. God is not a respecter of persons.
When we make covenant with God, we take off the old sinful man and put on the new Spirit-led man. We are now members of the holy priesthood and in God’s eyes, salt of the earth. Let’s guard our mouths and our behavior, walking in holy covenant with Jesus by the power of Holy Spirit in us. Let’s fill the earth with His truth, His grace, His righteousness, and show the world what true covenant is.