The Value of Salt
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Sprinkled along the emerald-green hillside, oddly-shaped flowers appeared to bloom. Upon closer inspection, these yellow blooms were actually blocks of salt.
On our family farm, my dad scattered these salt blocks for our cattle. And the cattle loved them – as was evident by the indentions worn into the blocks by a hungry cow’s tongue.
The purpose of the salt was to encourage thirst. The cow’s frequent trips back and forth to the pond made it evident that the salt was serving its purpose. As dairy cattle drank more water, they produced better milk.
The Bible talks about how we, as Christians, are to be like salt. So truly, there should be something in our lives that encourage others around us to have a thirst for the Living Water that comes from knowing Jesus.
Mark 9:50 (NLT) says:
Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.
Matthew 5:13 also says,
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?...
So, if God said we, as Christians, are to be salt, what is the significance of that?
Besides something that prompts thirst, salt was used for so many things during biblical times:
- Salt was traditionally rubbed on newborns (Ezekiel 16:4);
- Salt was used to mark a continual covenant (Numbers 18:19);
- Salt was both an additive and preservative of food (Leviticus 2:13);
Salt was even used as currency. The Oxford Dictionary tells us that salt was once so valuable, the Roman army was sometimes paid with salt instead of money. Their monthly allowance was called “salarium” (since “sal” is Latin for salt.)
At a time in history when there was no refrigeration, it was important to preserve meats, often with salt. And preserving foods meant preserving lives!
So, when the early Christians were told that they were to be “salt,” they were being told that they were highly valuable to the world. In fact, they had something to offer the world that meant life!
But the early Christians were also warned not to allow anything to negatively impact their effectiveness – like salt is impacted when impurities are mixed with it.
So, if we are to be salt, we should always remember our true purpose as believers – and not be tainted by this world. We are from a different kingdom – a place where we promote life and point people to Jesus!
Dear Father, Help us to continually go to the source of that Living Water offered to us through Your Holy Spirit. Help us to be in Your Word, offer You praise and drink of Your Presence. Remind us that we are not here to just fill our own thirst; we are here to be filled to an overflowing of Your Spirit – so others might drink, too. Remind us of the value of our call – and the purpose of what You have called us to be in this world. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Scripture is quoted from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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