Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Salty Witness: Salt's Significance

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13 (NIV) ---Jesus

God loves you. He loved you so much that He become human. Jesus walked this earth, offering people love, grace, and mercy. He expressed His love through humble service, serving those He created. He died to offer eternal salvation to whosoever would believe in Him. Holy Spirit blesses believers with strength and peace. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit—He is salt, and if you profess faith in Him, you are salt. 

For ages, salt has been important. From meat preservation to making soap, from smelting and refining metals to road construction, the use of salt remains necessary. People all over the world, from generation to generation, have used salt. They’ve even fought wars over it when scarce. Salt symbolized wealth and at times in history, it was used in place of money. The Caesars of Rome sometimes partially paid their soldiers with bags of salt—the root word of salary is salt. 

Throughout time salt has been extracted from mines, vegetation, and the sea. Even though most North Americans take salt for granted because of its abundance, natives of the Amazon in South America crush plants with high salt content and boil the juices only to receive a small amount of this precious product. There are 14,000 catalogued uses of salt. Conclusion—salt is priceless.

Last week I posted seven identifying factors about salt. Below are those aspects of salt with explanations. As you read over the list, keep in mind that Jesus, the Savior sent to rescue the world, represents salt and sees these aspects of salt in His believers. 

  • Salt cleanses - Salt is an environmentally safe way to clean tea and coffee stains in glasses, baked on grease in pans, and sweat stains from clothes. It even brightens faded and colored clothes. Salt is definitely a valuable item used in cleaning. 
  • Salt preserves - Brine (or a saltwater solution) has been used throughout history to preserve meats. It’s used in tanning (converting animal skin into leather) hides and in pickling foods. Salt licks preserve the life of animals. Living beings need salt to stay healthy. 
  • Salt seasons - A little bit of salt goes a long way to enhance the flavor of foods. Instead of marinade, a steak can be doused in rock salt for a couple of hours, then rinsed off and cooked. The steak will be tender, rid of blood, and full of flavor. Salt intensifies flavor.
  • Salt endures - Salt deposits in a mine are thousands of years old and remain useful to this day. Refined salt, even if it gets lumpy, doesn’t spoil. The flavor and savor of salt doesn’t disappear after it’s been dissolved. It’s a long-lasting mineral and never spoils. 
  • Salt is pure - Salt is an uncontaminated mineral substance primarily composed of sodium chloride (a chemical compound). It contains no germs so it can be used as a disinfectant. Salt can actually clean teeth and freshen breath.
  • Salt is precious - Salt can be treated as commonplace, being taken for granted. But when it’s scarce, it becomes a most treasured commodity. Imagine a world without salt. It’s a basic human taste—how would food taste without it?
  • Salt as a sacrifice - God requested salt to be used in the offerings of Israel, both in the animal and grain sacrifices. Salt cleansed and purified the meat of blood and preserved portions for the priests to eat later (God’s provision for the Levites). Even though it might have been scarce, God requested it for sacrifices. He loved and provided for His people—would they give back to Him out of love and obedience? 

Why would God ask His people to give Him something that was in short supply? What kind of God was He? Think about the answers to these questions as well as the qualities of salt and its importance to mankind. We’ll dig deeper into the salt mines and the mind of Christ next week. Meanwhile meditate on God’s Word.

You are to offer them before the Lord, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and sacrifice them as a burnt offering to the Lord. Ezekiel 43:24 (NIV)

The Levitical priests--indeed, the whole tribe of Levi--are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offerings presented to the LORD, for that is their inheritance. Deuteronomy 18:1 (NIV)

Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and olive oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—must be given them daily without fail. Ezra 6:9 (NIV)

Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.” Numbers 18:19 (NIV)

....make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. Exodus 30:5 (NIV)

Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings. Leviticus 2:13 (NIV)

1 comment:

  1. So interesting and encouraging! Thank you for using your gift to write faithfully. ..Gods word does not return void!