Sea salt  from a  mine in Texas
Salt shaker
The Salt Covenant
    The Old Testament speaks of the Salt Covenant, but how did Jesus apply it?  What is salt in the New Testament?  How can we apply it in our lives today?

I. Old Testament Scriptures:
A. The Salt Covenant.
"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"  (Leviticus 2:13).  The salt was use to made the sacrifice palatable for God.

"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"  (Numbers 18:19).  The salt covenant was to be an everlasting covenant.

"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?"  (II Chronicles 13:5).  Again, the salt covenant was to be an everlasting covenant.

B. Some other uses of salt in Scripture.
"Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?"  (Job 6:6).  It make the unsavory (tasteless, unpleasant, or disgusting) eatable.

"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"  (Ezekiel 16:4).  (The salt was used for cleansing, purifying, and toughing the skin of the newborn)

Elisha = "And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.   So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake"  (II Kings 2:22).  Salt is used for healing.

"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:  And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy" (Exodus 30:34-35).   (The word translated "tempered together" also means "salted".  It was therefore to be in the anointing oil upon the priests.  Compare with: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 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; 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"  (Psalms 133:1-3).

"Now because we have maintenance from the king's palace, and it was not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and certified the king"  (Ezra 4:14).  The word maintenance is otherwise translated "we eat the salt".  (It was a source of wages).   "Now because we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not meet for us to see the king's dishonour, therefore have we sent and announced to the king"  (Ezra 4:14) Jewish publication Society

"The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan"  (Isaiah 30:24).  (The word translated "clean" means to be salted).

C. The covenant of salt had several aspects.
1. It makes that which is of bad taste or no taste palatable.
2. Another aspect is that it binds people together or people to God.
3. It speaks of preservation.
4. It speaks of healing.
5. It speaks of purifying.
6. It speaks of its continuance.
7. It speaks of loyalty.
II. Some reported facts about Salt.
A. Sea salt made up of about 98 percent NaCl with the remaining 2 per cent trace minerals.

B. Sea salt which is not purified has many (as many as 80+) other essential trace minerals.

C. Table salt as we know it is washed, heated and purified removing the trace minerals.

D. Although some say that table salt and sea salt are basically the same, they do taste different.

E. Some say that table salt is bad for our health while sea salt is good for our health.  I will choose the sea salt with the trace minerals.

F. Tears and sea salt are similar in mineral content.

G. It was once used in monetary exchange.

H. Traditionally, it was shared at a table in settling a dispute between two parties.

I. Meats were once cured with salt (drawing out the blood and keeping them from spoiling).

J. Animal skins were tanned using salt.

K. Salt helps create thirst so that the body gets the proper amount of water. (There is an expression, "You can lead a horse to water, but if you give him salt, he will go to water.")

L. Salt helps regulate the metabolic and electrolyte balance in the body.

M. Salt is essential for a regular heart beat.

N. Salt helps balance the blood sugar levels in the body.

O. Salt helps remove the acidity from cells.  (My understanding is that acidity develops when the body is overworked or the individual is worried).

P. Salt acts as a antihistamine to relieve congestion.

Q. Salt may help one to get regular sleep.

R. Salt may help prevent gout.

S. Salt helps one maintain their sexuality and sexual desire.

T. Salt purifies ...many germs can't live in salt.  Pam (a lady in our church) told of her mother who cut off the end of her finger.  She immediately put salt on it to ease the pain and help the wound to heal.  You may gargle your sore throat with salt water to relieve the pain. It is a DISINFECTANT.

U. Salt helps relieve leg cramps.

V. Salt is essential to life.  Ask a rancher about why he puts out salt blocks.

W. Sea salt is used in the finest restaurants to enhance the flavor of food.

H. In Biblical times salt was not purified as the table salt of today.

II. What does salt represent in the New Testament?
A. Salt is the GRACE of God.
"Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man"  (Colossians 4:6).

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers"  (Ephesians 4:29).

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord"  (Colossians 3:16).

B. How did Jesus apply the use of salt covenant?
a. Jesus used a number of parables to illustrate the need for Grace.
1. In Mark 9:45-48 Jesus speaks of cutting off your hand or plucking out your eye if they offend you  "And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched"  (Mark 9:45-48).  I have yet to meet anyone who has put this in practice.  If we did, we would have no eyes, hands, or ears.  Jesus was vividly illustrating the impossibility of living a perfect life and the need for God's GRACE.  "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"  (Mark 9:50).  Peace treaties are sometime called salt treaties.
 

2. "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance"  (Luke 15:4-7). The sheep doesn't have the capacity to find the shepherd.  It is not the sheep that finds the shepherd, but the shepherd that goes after the sheep.  I have always thought of repentance as to stop doing wrong and start doing what is right.  There is a truth here, but it goes deeper than that.  It is recognizing you can't stop doing wrong. It is recognizing that you can't fix the sin problem  and that you must come to DEPEND upon the GRACE of God.

3. "Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.  Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." (Luke 15:8-10).  Again, the coin of itself can not return to the woman!

4. Then the story of the prodigal "And he said, A certain man had two sons: ..." (Luke 15:11ff).  Although the prodigal retuned home, he did not seek a right relationship with his father, but recognized his need for food.  However, the father went to meet him first.  Before the son could finish his confession, the father GIVES him shoes for his feet, a ring for his finger, a robe for his back, and a welcome party.  It is a beautiful illustration of God's grace.

5. By way of summary, we can't even repent except by the grace of God.  Repentance is more in  recognizing a need of a saviour than trying to turn over a new leaf ourselves.

b. "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men"  (Matthew 5:13).  (Literally, "have lost his savour" is that it had become insipid (tasteless or foolish).  "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools"  (Romans 1:22). These were saying that they didn't need God's Grace.

c. "For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.   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"  (Mark 9:49-50).  Everyone, as a sacrifice which is to be accepted, will be salted with fire.  Fire is a symbol of purification as is salt.  Grace, as already indicated, also purifies us.

d. "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.  Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?   It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear"  (Luke 14:33-35).  Please note that "men cast it out".  If we say that we are Believers, but don't live by the GRACE of God, men will also cast us out.  They will see that we are living by the strenght of the flesh and not by the power of God's grace.

III. The application of the Salt Covenant for today.
Salt for us is God's grace.   Once we repent (change our minds to come to agree that we can not be acceptable to God without God's grace), then we are in a position to turn and receive it.  We accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour enter into an everlasting salt covenant with God.  We are salted with His everlasting grace .... eternal life.  We were once unpalatable, enemies to God, and corrupt, but he has made us acceptable through Jesus. The GRACE of God has purifies us and preserves us for eternity.  This is the grace to be a child of God.  "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.   I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain"  (Galatians 2:20-21).

We should also learn to live by the grace of God.  "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure"  (Philippians 2:13).   We need to come to continually see that we need God's grace to make the right choices and the grace to do that which the Spirit instructs us to do. "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me"  (I Corinthians 15:10).

MY EXPERIENCE:   I gave my life to Jesus at the age of nine.  Many years later, in 1964, I surrendered to ministry and was told, "You do this, this, and this and this will make you a minister."  To the best I could, I tried to do what I was told to do. I worked out on weights and became physically strong.  I got a B.A. in Bible and a M.Div. in Theology.  I became a pastor of a small church and it began to grow.  Then everything fell apart. I got to the place where I couldn't think straight and prepare a message.  I resigned the church thinking that if I can just get out of the pressure situation, then everything will be O.K.  However, it didn't work that way!  I got to the place where my wife had to make a living for us, which made me feel like I was nothing.  I tried everything to fix the problem: diet, exercise, prayer, and prayer lines, but nothing worked. I came to the place that I could not be the proper husband, father, bread winner, or minister that I wanted to be and that I believed that God wanted me to be.  My wife being a surgical nurse could not relate to what I was going through.  I finally came to the place where I told God, "I give up.  I am throwing in the towel."  I think that God said, "Good."  Then I told God if anything was going to be done, it would have to be His doing and not mine."  Again, I think that God said, "Good."  That day the monkey of performance got off my back and I began to look to see what God was going to do.  In reality, I gave up on self and began to trust in the GRACE of God.

For many reasons Paul in the New Testament, had many reasons to brag.  He was born into the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, extremely well educated, and sought to keep the Laws of God.  However, Paul looked at who he was without God's grace and said, "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ"  (Philippians 3:8).
 
Salt makes food eatable Grace make us acceptable unto God.
Grace also helps us accept ourselves (makes us palatable to ourselves).
Grace also helps us accept others as God has accepted us.
Salt creates a thirst for water. Grace creates a thirst for God and the water of  His Word.
Salt is used for cleansing. Grace cleanses us in our daily living and gives us a boldness to witness.
Salt is an electrolyte. (transfer an electrical charge) Grace helps us think clearly.
Salt was used for an everlasting covenant. Grace provides eternal life. (Eternal Security)
Salt helps one get sleep. Grace helps us get a good night's rest.
Salt has a preservative element. Grace preserves our mental, emotional, and physical well being.
Salt purifies. Grace helps us keep pure from sin habits.
Salt enhances the flavor of foods. Grace helps us enjoy life.
Salt helps one keep his/her sexual desires. Grace helps us keep the desire to reproduce.
Salt helps remove the acidity from cells. Grace helps us when we have a tendency to be a workaholic or become worried.
Salt helps regulate the metabolic balance in the body. Grace helps us stay in balance doctrinally.
Salt helps balance the blood sugar levels in the body. Grace helps us keep our emotions under control.
Salt is essential for a regular heart beat. Grace helps us tune our hear to the heart of the Lord.

You may see other comparisons as well.

WARNING!
If we, as Believers fail to extend God's GRACE to others, then men will cast us out as being good for nothing!   If we come to think it is foolish to depend upon God's grace to live as Believers, then the salt of grace loses it effectiveness in our lives.  We lose the will and power to do God's will.  Others will see our ineffectiveness and cast us out as not being fit for the land or the dunghill.

GRACE