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Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Salt--Seasoning, Preservative, or Symbol?
The Bible says some very interesting things about salt. Salt was required in all the sacrifices (Leviticus 2:13). Bread offered on the altar was to be made with salt. Meat sacrifices were to be salted.
The prophet Elisha healed a spring that had bad water by putting salt in it (2 Kings 2:19-21). The proclamation that David and his descendants would reign on the throne of Israel was sealed with a covenant of salt (Chronicles 13:5).
Salt is used as a seasoning. It makes things taste good. Paul advises in Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (NIV). Paul wants his readers to understand that they should used words that are meaningful and worth hearing. Salt does not dull the taste or leave a hint of bitterness.
As a preservative, Christians are called to be a witness and to preserve the nation, the society and the world against the ravages of sin and disaster. Abraham performed that service when he pled for Sodom and Gomorrah asking “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” And God answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it”(Genesis18:24, 33)
In Ezra 7:22-23 King Artaxerxes ordered the treasurers to provide the priests with the supplies for sacrifice when the Jews returned to Jerusalem. He listed a hundred talents of silver, a hundred cors of wheat, a hundred baths of wine, a hundred baths of olive oil and salt without measure. This strikes me as amazing. Make sure they don’t run out. Bring the salt until they are finished with the sacrifices. Have a plentiful supply.
I like the concept that salt represents other things that we don’t specify an amount. God gives us some things that don’t have a limit–grace, the Holy Spirit, forgiveness. There are things that God expects us to surrender in unlimited amounts, too: love, obedience, worship. Make your own list.