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Are You Worth Your Salt? Print E-mail
Written by Victoria Radin   

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men…" (Matthew 5:13)

To understand why our Lord used this analogy, it’s important to understand the qualities of salt.

Salt, sodium chloride (NaCl) contains two elements necessary for survival. Its cultivation goes back thousands of years to the birth of civilization. The human body needs sodium and chloride for respiration and digestion. Without it, the body would be unable to transport nutrients and oxygen throughout the blood, transmit nerve impulses or move muscles, including the heart. All four positively charged electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium) are found in unrefined salt.

Salt has been used as far back as recorded history for a wide variety of medical, industrial and other uses. There are around 14,000 recorded uses. It is one of the most effective and most widely used food preservatives. It works by absorbing moisture from the cells of bacteria and mold through osmosis. This makes the mold and bacteria unable to reproduce, ultimately perishing. Salt has the ability to preserve just about anything—be it a vegetable or even a human cadaver. Egyptians, in fact, used salt in the mummification of their dead. The lack of it could affect the health of entire populations. As a result, the pursuit of salt has been the cause of bitter warfare. For example, during the Revolutionary War, the British enlisted American Loyalists to intercept the Patriots’ salt supplies in order to prevent them from being able to preserve their food.

Salt was considered so valuable that it served as money in various places. It was traded for precious jewels and silks, and traded ounce for ounce for gold. A soldier’s pay—consisting in part of salt—came to be known as ‘solarium argentum’, from which we derive the word salary. A soldier's salary was cut if he “was not worth his salt”.

“Saltiness” is one of the five primary basic tastes the human tongue can detect–– salt, bitter, sweet, sour, and glutamic acid. Adding salt to foods helps certain molecules in those foods to more easily release into the air, thus helping the aroma of the food, which is important in our perception of taste. Salt also has been shown to help suppress a bitter taste. Adding a bit of salt increases the scent of food, and also decreases any bitter taste. 

There are many references to salt in the Bible. Covenant sacrifices were salted to indicate the terms of the agreement were forever preserved. Salt sealed the bargain. It was also a symbol of religious purity.

"You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy." (Exodus 30:35)

"And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt." (Leviticus 2:13)

"Should you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt?" (2 Chronicles 13:5)

All the elements necessary for life are contained in God’s Word. Believers are supposed to be salt to the world, to ‘sprinkle’ the unsaved with the Word of God, the Good News of Eternal Life available to all who believe. Being ‘salt’ to the unsaved and those who are bitter will preserve their lives unto Eternity. Being ‘salt’ to the lost can take away the bitterness of living a life without God, the bitterness of demonic oppression and disease. Being ‘salt’ to the sick can cause disease to perish, and can even cause the dead to be raised as illustrated in salt’s ability to preserve a cadaver. Being ‘salt’ causes the believer to bring out the aroma of life in others.

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)

From the scripture in Matthew 5 (above), it is evident that salt can lose its flavor and become useless. If salt sits on a shelf and is not used, after time, it loses its ability to flavor or preserve foods. As the ‘salt of the earth’, believers should be going to church once or twice a week for the purpose of refilling the salt shaker with a renewed vigor to ‘sprinkle’ the lost, to carry out the Great Commission given to us by our Lord Yeshua himself. Our ‘church experience’ should primarily be to enhance our ‘evangelism experience’. 

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.’” (Mark 16:15-18)

As a soldier of Yeshua’s making, are you "worth your salt" or have you lost your saltiness and become useless in building the Kingdom of God?

"You, therefore, must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier." (2 Timothy 2:3-4)


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