I was reading about minerals and came across a statement that made me laugh: Salt is one of the oldest minerals on the face of the earth. I thought, by what, 3 hours?
Salt, regardless of its age, is crucial to our existence on this planet. Doctors say if you manage to live salt free 30 days, you would no longer be able to think. If you hadn’t come to your right mind at the end of 30 days and continued your salt less diet, you’d be dead within two more weeks. Your body can’t live without salt. Doctors will tell you that salt is what drives your blood pressure up and gives you so many health problems, but is it really the salt? Or is it the ingredients added to the compound that sits on your kitchen table? In truth, the chemicals that pour out of the average kitchen shaker are a far cry from what the Lord intended.
Salt begins with nearly one hundred nutrients vital to our health and well being. Companies mining salt, whether from the ground or sea, strip away the valuable nutrients for resale, leaving a substance that only faintly resembles the original compound. It carries the name “salt” and little else. They add a anti-caking agent, perhaps bleach it to turn it white, then add aluminum and iodine. Yum! If you want to immediately know the difference between the two, try this simple experiment: Take a small dab of Kosher or Sea Salt and taste it. It will be vaguely familiar to you. It tastes like salt. Then, immediately try the common table salt you always use. You’ll instantly taste the poison and may never use common so called salt again.
Like many husbands, I get in trouble with my wife for salting my food before I taste it. She always makes the case that she seasoned it perfectly and I should try it first. I rarely do. And I can’t remember the time when I had to go back and say I was wrong – now it is too salty. The truth is, I like the taste of salt.
Salt has a rich and interesting history. There’s a old saying about a person being “worth their salt.” It turns out we get our word “salary” from the same Latin root. Salt was once used as a form of currency, and in some cultures, it was given with pay or in lieu of other monies as it was so easily traded. It’s engrained into our cultures, and our language. “He’s not worth his salt.” “She is just pouring salt in his wounds.” “Take it with a grain of salt.” That one’s so old there’s a Latin version of it: “Cum grano salis.” ”Below the salt” is an expression dividing the rich from the poor at the common table.
It’s a natural antiseptic. Germs cannot live in salt. It’s used as a healing agent in many applications, from homemade remedies – gargling with salt water to cure a sore throat – to emergency applications. Emergency room visitors are often given a saline solution to replenish their fluids and aid in stabilizing them even before their condition has been fully diagnosed.
Why all this talk of salt? Because of the biblical significance of course. We know the most popular story about salt and the scriptures pertains to Lot’s wife. She looked back toward Sodom during its destruction and turned into a pillar of salt. Jewish tradition says Lot instructed his wife to give the strangers he brought into the house salt, but she defied him because of its value.
The Old Testament places great importance on salt.
Lev 2:13 And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.
Num 18:19 All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it [is] a covenant of salt for ever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee.
A covenant of salt. Why salt? Why a covenant? In biblical times, salt, because it was easily traded and highly valued was carried in small bags attached to a man’s belt. When two made an agreement, contract or promise, they would each pinch a bit of salt from their bag and place it into the others’ bag, proclaiming the unbreakable covenant – “there is salt between us.” It was an impossibility to separate your salt from your partners. It represented a permanent arrangement that could not be undone. Jews would salt the Sabbath bread to remind them of the covenant they had with God. And more importantly, the priests were instructed by the Lord to offer every sacrifice with salt. It was not to be lacking in anything.
Salt is used as a preservative to cure food. It is also used to remove blood. Eze 16:4 And [as for] thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple [thee]; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. Elisha poured a cuze of salt into the waters to heal the barren land at the Lord’s instructions. Yet in Judges chapter nine, we find Abimelch sowing the city of Shechem with salt, to show his contempt for the people there.
And the everlasting kingdom?
2Ch 13:5 Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, [even] to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?
Salt is unique in that it retains its characteristics. If you put it in water, when the water has evaporated, you still have the original salt. Our God is unchangeable and pure as well, so this element truly represents Him and His covenants. Job, in the middle of his trials and difficulties, waxed poetic about salt: Job 6:6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there [any] taste in the white of an egg?
While fulfilling the law to a jot and a tittle, Jesus reminded the Jews of the importance of salting the sacrifice:
Mar 9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
Mar 9:50 Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
Paul tells us we should even season our speech. If you use too much salt in your conversation and speak of religion and nothing else, it could be distasteful to many and actually hinder your ministry. But without grace in your conversation, how would anyone know you belong to the Lord?
Col 4:6 Let your speech [be] alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Now that I’ve brought to your attention something about salt you may not have known, allow me to be a little speculative to paint a picture for you.
Exd 30:22-25 Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred [shekels], and of sweet cinnamon half so much, [even] two hundred and fifty [shekels], and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty [shekels], And of cassia five hundred [shekels], after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.
Exd 30:30 And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that [they] may minister unto me in the priest's office.
Exd 30:31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.
Exd 30:32 Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make [any other] like it, after the composition of it: it [is] holy, [and] it shall be holy unto you.
Exd 30:33 Whosoever compoundeth [any] like it, or whosoever putteth [any] of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.
Exd 30:34 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; [these] sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like [weight]:
Exd 30:35 And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure [and] holy:
(Tempered together = salted)
Exd 30:36 And thou shalt beat [some] of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy
Exd 30:37 And [as for] the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD.
Fast foward to the New Testament:
Mat 26:7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat [at meat].
Mat 26:8 But when his disciples saw [it], they had indignation, saying, To what purpose [is] this waste?
Mat 26:9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor
Mat 26:10 When Jesus understood [it], he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
Mat 26:11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
Mat 26:12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did [it] for my burial.
Mat 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, [there] shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
I’ve heard the gospel proclaimed in several different areas of the world, but only once have I heard a specific sermon on this woman and the memorial. You would think by the words of Christ we’d hear about her actions every week when we gather. Jesus himself said every sacrifice must be salted. And here he was. As our sinless, perfect, sacrifice, Christ needed not the actual salt, but allowed it to be applied in this method to fulfill the ceremonial law to a jot and a tittle. And the precious ointment? The anointing of our great High Priest.
How is this memorial spoken of concerning this woman?
Psa 133:1 [[A Song of degrees of David.]] Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psa 133:2 [It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments
Psa 133:3 As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.
Whenever we gather together in peace and harmony, in unity, we fulfill that which becomes a memorial to her and we enjoy the sweet dew of Mt. Hermon (which is Zion.)
Hbr 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
Bro. Royce Ellis