Breathing the salty air this morning as I read scripture, and ponder the goodness of our God. Then I checked my Twitter feed to see what was happening around the world. One of my favorites said she was reading in Leviticus – which I read recently. But as I followed the rabbit trail of tweets and replies I came across a thought that encouraged me today – sharing it to process my thoughts!
“Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings;Leviticus 2:13
add salt to all your offerings.”
It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.Numbers 18:19
Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship2 Chronicles 13:5
of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?
Now because we share the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king’s dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king, so that a search may be made in the annals of your ancestors.Ezra 4:14-15a
Salt was important for many reasons but specifically in ancient times, salt was a preservative. Not just a preservative but it represented permanence. If you tried to burn salt in fire, it was not consumed. If you tried to “wash it away” it was still there when the water evaporated. And so in covenants, salt represented the lasting power, the permanence of the agreement!
Why is this so interesting? Remember Jesus on the hillside, teaching the people what we call the sermon on the mount? He said, “You are the salt of the earth.”
We don’t just preserve culture; we don’t just season our society – making the world a better place. No, we are salt, representatives of an everlasting covenant.
As salt, we are not the covenant, and we don’t make the covenant permanent. Instead as salt, we are a sign, a symbol, pointing to the covenant made with us by the one true God!
As salt (and light according to Matthew 5), our good works point others to Jesus!
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,Ephesians 2:10
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
What good works are those?
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.2 Corinthians 5:16 – 20
We regard no one from a worldly point of view – that’s what the scripture says. Instead, we see everyone through the same lens that God looks on people … we are His ambassadors. As salt we remind the world that God has made a covenant that will not fail or fade away. God has not abandoned His creation and He is not far off. God has made promises for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call!
As Moses said, ““This commandment I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it too remote. It is not in heaven, as though one must say, ‘Who will go up to heaven to get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ And it is not across the sea, as though one must say, ‘Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ For the thing is very near you—it is in your mouth and in your mind so that you can do it.Deuteronomy 30:11-14
In our church leadership cohort the other day we were working through church beliefs and discussed this statement –
Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it: rather, we are to do good to the city, for all the glory and honor of the nations is to be offered up to the living God.Gospel Coalition Foundation Document
We are to do good to the city where we have been placed! “Work to see that the city where I sent you as exiles enjoys peace and prosperity. Pray to the Lord for it. For as it prospers you will prosper (Jeremiah 29:7).”
When we defend the poor, the marginalized, the hurting, our good works will be evidence of God’s promises, the salt of the covenant. We are the peacemakers, the pure in heart, agents of reconciliation … there is salt between us.
“One day all Christians will join in a doxology and sing God’s praises with perfection. But even today, individually and corporately, we are not only to sing the doxology,Francis Schaeffer
but to be the doxology.”
Today as I walk in the salty air and ponder the salty sea, may I be reminded that as salt in this world, I am His agent, a sign, a symbol of HIs amazing grace – His covenant of salvation!
(Thank you to Nate Pyle for the sermon on Leviticus 2 … ministered to my heart!).