|Posted by kelvinbueckert on July 14, 2019 at 4:30 PM|
Watching TV can be very educational….I was interested in the history of salt mines shown the other day. What a desperately important commodity. Widely used for a variety of purposes it was used as an antiseptic in medicine as well as to preserve and flavour food. In Bible times it was the custom to bath newborn babies before rubbing them with salt.
People had found many ways to provide themselves with salt – sometimes digging holes in the ground where salt water from the sea would be confined until it dried and then the salt could be harvested. Evaporation, in general, produced a poorer quality of salt than mining it from salt cliffs and flats.
Did you know that in the Old Testament there was a “Covenant of Salt”? This covenant was a perpetual obligation, a reminder of what we hold dear in our relationship with God! It required that every offering would be seasoned with salt, which speaks of permanence and incorruptibility. Offerings to Jehovah were to be “a covenant of salt forever before Jehovah” (Number 18:19). “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)
The permanency of the Davidic Covenant mentioned in 2 Chronicles 13:5 depended on this covenant of salt. ”…the God of Israel has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt.”
Old Testament Jews, as well as Arabs today demonstrate hospitality by sharing this treasured commodity as a token of friendship and protection. “To eat salt with…” different foods, became the established mode of showing trust.
Salt creates a thirst, in this case a thirst for the “living water” which Jesus claimed to be (John 7:37-38). Is there something about you which creates a longing, a thirst for righteousness? Salt also preserves. Do we preserve a walk that is holy, a spirit of righteousness seasoned by love. How often do we hear of people who season their speech, their beliefs with condemnation. Jesus expects better things of His followers. Salt was /is also used for cleansing. Try to get a tea stain out of a china cup with a bit of salt.
Jesus challenged His followers to be wholesome, Christ-like. Using the illustration of a fountain of water, James tells us that it cannot produce both water that is sweet and salt, at the same time (James 3:11). Curses cannot proceed from the same tongue as blesses God. There must be consistency in the taste. God’s purpose, and our privilege is to give to our needy world something they cannot live without – our lives give flavour, a living testimony to the Love of God that lifts and frees and brightens our world today. We are vessels in which the gospel is preserved forever, permanent and incorruptible. Jesus called you and me and all of His disciples “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13).
When we think of ourselves as “salt” what do we envision?
Does our presence in the office, in our homes, in our community of friends have a cleansing effect? i.e. Do people care about their language when they are with us?
What do we relish more and more because of the salt embedded in our souls?