Matthew 5 - Part 10 - Too much salt is bad for your health!
I use a saline solution for my contact lenses. It has the same salty consistency as my tears have. Without it I could not clean my lenses and putting them in would be difficult.
I’m told that too much salt is bad for you. The Bible says Christians are like salt. And we live in a world that can only take us in small doses. But our influence even in small doses is life-changing. The Bible says it’s not so much that too much salt is bad for you but that if salt is mixed with too much dirt, it loses it’s flavour and its of no use.
Matthew 5:13 (NLT) says something that interests me
"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has LOST ITS FLAVOR? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.
Have you ever thought that being the "SALT OF THE EARTH" is a funny expression? I have. How am I the "salt of the earth"? I can understand the "light on the hill" bit of the sermon on the mount, but not the "salt of the earth".
Salt was worth a lot as a preservative in days when there was no refrigeration. So what am I, a preservative? What does that mean? Or is it that I am precious to others? Who? Certainly not to the world? Or is it my message that’s salty? Sounds a little like a sailor who uses bad language? Do I "add flavor to others"? Come on? Am I white and tangy? Well, I’m white anyway.
Maybe it’s that I get to change the taste of the world by my character? I don’t take part in the meal, but I make it more palatable. That doesn’t really thrill me either! I’m not supposed to make the world’s values more palatable.
Let’s look at this. In the OT when you sat down and shared salt and a meal with someone, you were indicating that you were entering into an agreement with them, a covenant. Salt was the sign of that covenant relationship.
In Exodus 30:35 salt was an ingredient used to make the Holy Incense in the Tabernacle, the place where God made His presence known to Israel. So salt in the Bible is always associated with God’s presence and His character. God makes a covenant agreement with us. We enter into a relationship with God based upon faith in His Son. In Numbers 18:19 in the OT it was called the "Covenant of Salt".
Leviticus 2:13 (NLT) says
"Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings."
When Israel wanted to deal with their sin, they had to do it through sacrifices and offerings. So salt was used to season grain offerings. Salt is a permanent chemical, so this verse says that it reminds us of eternal promises God has made to His people to forgive them. The offerings themselves pointed towards the permanent work of Christ on the Cross as He died, once and for all, for our sins. In other words, salt is associated with the message forgiveness that comes through faith in Christ, called the "new covenant".
In the Bible, salt was used to clean new born babies, so it is associated with new birth and cleansing, a fitting symbol for the cleansing and new birth that comes when we believe in Christ.
In 2 Kings 2:20 Elisha uses Salt to "heal the water" of a poisonous spring. So salt is associated with God’s healing and preserving power.
So how is a Christian like Salt? They offer others the opportunity of entering into a covenant relationship with God, based on faith in Christ, that will bring forgiveness, cleansing and new birth.
Salt keeps food from going off. It cleanses the world from things that corrupt it. The Bible says that the message of the gospel is like that.
To my knowledge Salt does not lose its saltiness and flavor. But of course we are used to having salt that comes in a salt shaker, nice and clean. In the time of Christ if the salt had dirt and other impurities mixed in with it, it was useless.
In Australia the salinity of the soil in some parts is actually quite destructive. You can’t grow anything in it. Salt is never meant to be mixed with the soil. It is meant to be distinctive and extracted in such a way as to be pure. What kind of Christian am I? And how am I the salt of the earth?
A Christian who tries to mix in with the world’s values is useless and is actually destructive because that persons witness is corrupted by the influences of the world. They become stumbling blocks to others who are trying to find a genuine faith rather than salt which influences others positively.
As a Christian I influence those around me, not just make life more palatable.
I have something to say that is not to be mixed in with the world’s values. I make a difference in the community in which I live only as I keep the message pure and untainted by my culture. A little sprinkle of what I have to offer changes things. And once it’s there it can’t be taken back.
I am the Salt of the Earth, not heaven.
I can’t change things in heaven, but hopefully I can bring a little bit of heaven to earth through my influence. I don’t taint heaven’s influence by mixing it with earth. I let heaven’s influence change the earth completely and bring a new flavor to life. I’m here for a purpose, to make a difference, to have an influence that stops the corrupting influences of the world.
Colossians 4:6 (NIV) says
"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
1 Peter 3:15-16 (NLT) says,
"... worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ."
God bless you Church as you offer others the opportunity of entering into a covenant relationship with God, based on faith in Christ, that will bring forgiveness, cleansing and new birth.