Bible Order: Numbers 3–4
Chronological Order: Exodus 35–37
New Testament Only: Matthew 26:26–46
Let Us Not Lose Our Flavor
Today salt is something we try to avoid. Modern Western Medicine has come to the conclusion that we all have too much salt in our diet, and that such over-indulgence is harmful to our health. Considering our hyper-processing of food, I can well understand that this has become a problem, but for most of human history salt was anything but something to avoid. Salt is essential to life. Animals that eat only vegetables must find additional sources of salt or they will die. This is why many a farmer will put a salt-lick out for his animals. Without it they would be hard pressed to survive. Meat-eaters gain a good portion of the salt they require through the meat they ingest, but early man needed a way to preserve that meat and salt was the ideal substance to accomplish that task.
Salt was so valuable, because of its preservation, flavoring, healing, and life sustaining properties, that it became a form of monetary exchange. At one time salt was the equivalent of gold as a monetary exchange medium. Salt had the added benefit of being light and portable. Did you know that we get the word salary from the word salt? Roman Legionnaires were often paid in salt (sal) – thus we got the word salary. In its day, salt was huge! That day included the days of the Old Testament.
With that in mind check out the following verse from today’s reading.
Leviticus 2:13 ESV
“You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.”
Beyond the metaphor of persevering in right relationship with God (preservation), salt provides us the imagery of healing and of beginning anew. I’d like to share with you a quote from Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary concerning salt.
“Salt flats are characterized as the extreme of unproductive land (Deut. 29:23 [MT 24]; Ps. 107:34 [KJV “barrenness”]; Jer. 17:6; Zeph. 2:9), and salt was sometimes spread on conquered land to prevent agriculture and thus resettlement (Judg. 9:45); but this practice may also have led to a ritual use of salt denoting separation from the past so the area formerly occupied by a city could be put to a new purpose, even resettlement.”
Myers, A. C. (1987). The Eerdmans Bible dictionary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
As mentioned above, salt is renowned for its flavor enhancing abilities, which reminds me that Jesus said that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Life in Christ fulfills the same function, drawing more flavor and meaning out of life. Like salt, Christ heals us and provides us with a new beginning – a separation from our past; He adds joy to our lives. We are no longer living under the Mosaic Sacrificial System. The ultimate sacrifice has been made on our behalf. Today we are to be a “living sacrifice”. Let us add the salt of Jesus Christ to our lives. Let us persevere in right relationship with Him. Let us live with the full flavor of life He came to give us. Let us live renewed in Him. Let us be as He called us “salt of the earth” that He may be glorified in us and through us. Let us not lose our flavor!
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve