Could You Please Pass the Salt?

This morning I read the following verse “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.

While I’ve read the Old Testament several times before, I don’t remember this verse catching my attention like it did today. What does it mean to add salt to our offerings to God?

Let me stop here and say that I realize that with Jesus coming and His sacrifice, I understand that the New Covenant supersedes the Old Covenant. With that said, though, I don’t think we get a true appreciation for all that Jesus did for us and what it really means to be adopted (Ephesians 1:5) and co-heirs with the Israelites and Christ (Romans 8:17). We can’t just disregard the Old Testament as “old” for in it is a rich knowledge of who God is and what He has done! After all, “ALL Scripture is God-breathedand is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

So, going back to Leviticus when it says to “add salt to all your offerings,” is there anything we can learn for our present day life? One of my favorite Christian authors Kay Arthur once said “the best interpreter of Scripture is Scripture.” So, let’s go back to the Bible and see what else it says about salt. Doing a quick search on the word “salt” at http://www.Biblegateway.com produced 44 results.

I won’t touch on all of them in this post, of course, but here are a couple that I personally found interesting. The first was 2 Chronicles 13:5 “Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?” A covenant of salt? I learned a whole lot about what the word “Covenant” means through a study by Kay Arthur – I realize that God doesn’t revoke His promises and there are often signs that accompany such an agreement (rainbows as a reminder to man and God that God will never flood the earth again, etc.) Was salt a reminder of God’s covenant about Jesus and His saving us? Let’s keep searching!

Ezekiel 16:4 talks about being born, cutting the cord, washing with water, rubbing with salt and then clothing. I wondered why, so I did a little online research. Here were two answers I found: 

“After the washing, the body was rubbed with salt, according to a custom very widely spread in ancient times, and still met with here and there in the East; and that not merely for the purpose of making the skin drier and firmer, or of cleansing it more thoroughly, but probably from a regard to the virtue of salt as a protection from putrefaction, “to express in a symbolical manner a hope and desire for the vigorous health of the child” (http://www.pbbcph.org/content/you-are-salt-earthk)

The second was this: Salt was used as a sealing of a covenant between relationships that had been mended.. and the symbolism of that rubbing with salt and binding with cloth from Ez 4…. the salt is the symbolic representation of Jesus Blood purifying us, cleansing us of sin, and the binding clothes, which women used to bind babies so their limbs would be straight, was representative of us being wrapped with the Holy Spirit (http://www.christianuc.com/forums/topic/884-lets-hear/).

What I remembered almost immediately when I read the verse from Leviticus was Jesus saying “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 by men. You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise Your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16). We are to add life and goodness to the world! Don’t be dull and drab but let both your speech and action overflow so that people who come into contact with you praise God.

Colossians 4:6 reminds us to Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,so that you may know how to answer everyone.” What we say should even be seasoned with salt and grace.

Finally, Mark 9:49-50 says that “everyone will be salted with fire” and that we are to “have salt in yourselves and be at peace with each other.” From Colossians and the last half of Mark 9:50, salt seems synonymous with grace. Have grace for one another and be at peace. That grace can come from knowing that we’ve been saved by Jesus’ blood and sacrifice, not our own righteousness or good deeds. It’s a lot easier to be forgiving when we realize how much we’ve been forgiven!

By what does it mean to be salted with fire? Many places in the Bible, salt seemed to go along with sulfur and burning. Maybe salt is best described then as refinement.

There are three characteristics that I found interesting as I looked up what salt is exactly from Wikipedia. The one was that the most widely used salt is one that is obtained and then refined to be purified and given vast improvement. The other is that while I always thought of salt as being ‘tasty’ it is the best way to preserve things. Salt is also vital to our body and how we regulate the fluid content of our body.

So, when we’re making sacrifices to the Lord, how can we add salt using this knowledge?

  • Let our conversations be full of grace (Mark 9:50).
  • Let our good deeds shine before those around us so that they may praise God (Matthew 5:13).
  • Remember Jesus and His work on the cross – it was the covenant that God made with David to have His heir save us. When we royally screw up, intentionally or not, let’s rub salt in the wound (or Jesus’ blood over the sin!). You see, it’s not the salt that hurts but the pain we’ve inflicted on ourselves by the original wounds we’ve given ourselves. Allow Jesus to heal us and bring us back to the Father, even when it hurts (2 Chronicles 13:5).
  • Give glory to God for cutting the cord of our sin, washing us with His blood, rubbing us with salt and sealing us with the clothes of the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 16:4). May it be present in all that we say and do, especially as we present our offerings to God. We don’t have anything to give on our own, but because of what He’s done for us, we can approach Him and His throne!

Do you have anything to add on the subject of salt? These were just my findings from today. I’d love to hear anyone else’s insight! Let’s keep pressing on and learning together! May we season our offerings with salt!

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word and praise You for highlighting Scripture to us. Please help us learn what You mean. Open our hearts that we may really seek You, find You and know You. Our hearts’ desire is to know You fully and bring You honor and glory. In Jesus’ Name we pray, AMEN!

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