Good Morning Pioneer Baptist!
Pass the salt, please!
Our dinner tables are incomplete unless they are outfitted with the proper condiments, and the one condiment which, like Rodney Dangerville, “gets no respect” is salt. But not so fast, my friend! Let me tell you why we should all respect the little shaker that is always present and called upon, but which never gets an award at the banquet.
For one thing, not only is salt essential to the health of humans, it is one of the five basic taste sensations. From the finest chefs in their fine kitchens to the bachelor frying up a burger in his pad, from the prince in the castle to the pauper in his corner, everybody salts & nobody doesn’t! It just makes good things better, and worse things palatable, and this dates way back to antiquity, as salt has been the best-known food preservative & additive, for many thousands of years.
Salt has been one of the world's main profitable trading commodities, being of high value to virtually all peoples. It has been used as money, to formally seal an agreement, and in religious ceremonies. Following military victory, salt has been used by the winners to destroy future agricultural prospects of the unfortunate losers through salting of the earth. The Egyptians exported salt fish to the Phoenicians in return for cedar, glass, and purple dye. In Jonesport, Maine (and other “Downeast” cities) salt fish is something men love to chew on (I guess it’s Maine’s answer to beef jerky) and women (including my wife) hate to smell. Venice and Genoa actually fought a war over salt (Venice won). Web MD lists all kinds of healings that are accomplished through various applications of salt, including canker sores, ingrown toenails, stuffy noses, psoriasis, eczema, heartburn, bug bites, sore throat, tired feet, bad breath, heat cramps, and teeth stains! “When it rains, it pours.” It’s good stuff, and we take it for granted!
And God prizes it as well. Consider this from Leviticus 2:13 (KJV) “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.”
When the waters of Jericho were deathly, Elisha “salted the springs” healing the waters, so that there was no more death or barren land, and the Bible tells us that (2 Kings 2:21-22)
“…the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.” And Abijah proclaimed 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.” (2 Chronicles 13:4-5). King Artaxerxes made sure that when Ezra left Babylon for Judea, he would be provided with “…salt without prescribing how much.” (Ezra 7:21-22). And Job astutely observed by asking “Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt?” Then Paul applied all of this to our Christian testimony, exhorting us to (Colossians 4:6)“...Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”
But the ultimate “Citation of Salt” absolutely came from the lips of the Saviour when he preached this truth in Matthew 5:13 “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.” When Jesus says we are and need to be “the salt of the earth” it is a challenge to us as Christians to be as good and as valuable as this precious commodity, and it is speaks of the value of salt in its own right. And then we are given this sobering fact: If we have lost our savour, we’re literally good for nothing! There is nothing that can be done with salt that has lost its saltiness! You’re not going to “salt” your salt. It is worthless and needs to be cast out and thrown away. A backslidden Christian is, in terms of his testimony to the world, no good. He may even be a negative, because he’s probably a “grumbler” and a criticizer. His testimony will be about crooked preachers, gossiping churches, and a man-written Bible! A man whose salt has somehow gone bad is a waste!
We, as the salt of the earth, need to be mixed into the world in just the right amount to do them the most good. We don’t need the world’s meat poured into the salt shaker, we need the salt sprinkled on the meat in proper fashion. We’re not to be salted with the world, the world needs to be salted by us. It’s good for the boat to be in the water, but it’s not good for the water to be in the boat!
Be the salt, remain the salt, and by all means, pass the salt!
Love and Prayers to you all,