Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT/CREATED TO BE SALT PART B
5/30/2017 7:25:00 PM by: Linda Wood Rondeau

WHO PUT THE VINEGAR IN THE SALT

CREATED TO BE SALT

Part B

 

 

When we think of salt, we immediately are drawn to the concept of table salt or sodium chloride. Often, we hear preachers compare the Christian influence with the properties of salt.

Our lives should make others thirst for the things of God. Our conduct, tempered with love, ought to make others wonder what flavors us. Why are we different?
We are often told, as salt causes the body to retain fluid, the Salt of the Spirit helps us to be filled with the goodness of God.

While these are eternal truths regarding the saltiness of the Christian, Christ reference to his followers as, “The Salt of the Earth” is much more than properties of table salt.

 In Israel, salt was plentiful but required harvesting. Just as the work of Christ on the cross would begin the process of our spiritual usefulness. Processed salt once purified was worth a great deal. Salt was no precious and necessary that soldiers were paid with salt.

The Roman word, salarius, is the derivative of our modern word for salary.

In Biblical times, salt was used to season food (Job 6:6), as it is used today. It was mixed with feed for animals (Isaiah 30:24), as farmers also do today. However, salt was more than sustenance.

For Israelites, salt had deep spiritual significance as it was used in meat offerings. (Leviticus 2:13), a sacrifice to God.

 

Without salt, the offering was considered useless.  

A shared meal with salt-seasoned food signified a bonding between guest and host. The host symbolically pledged to protect the guest for as long as they remained with the host. Just as God promised the Israelites he would never forsake them. Salt was often used to commemorate a covenant of perpetual obligation. (Numbers 18:19) and (2 Chronicles 13:5). The custom is still practiced in some Arabic-speaking cultures.

In fact, the Arabic word for “salt” and for a “compact” or “treaty” is the same.  

When Paul admonished Roman Christians to “present their bodies, a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God … a reasonable service (Romans 12:1 – 2) the symbolic comparison to ritual sacrifice, meat seasoned with salt, was understood. We as salt, surrender our finite self to God’s infinite, and perpetual protection of our spiritual selves.

To be useful, salt must be processed and the impurities expelled. Native salt is often bitter because of foreign compounds such as magnesium sulfate. In ancient times, salt was “cured” by placing mixing the harvested mineral with water and placing it in rock crevices until the water evaporated, cleansing the sock from impurities. Just as the Holy Spirit cleanses us from the world’s contaminants.

Salt was also used as an antiseptic and had other medicinal value. Newborns were rubbed with salt to prevent infection. Salt is mentioned as a remedy for toothache. It can also be used to cure halitosis. tom still in use in some cultures.

No wonder Jesus compared his followers to salt and cautioned his followers not to allow the world’s wisdom to contaminate their walk with God. The risk? When we follow the world’s wisdom, we lose sight of our preciousness to God.

In what ways d we allow the vinegar of the world to hamper our walk with God?  

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