I bought a bag of “Peanuts Roasted in the Shell” to take to the ball game. At the game, I tried several and all of them were terrible. I’d never had rotten peanuts before so I checked the bag to see if there was an expiration date. According to the manufacturer’s stamp, they hadn’t expired. Then I noticed an important word written under the bag’s title, “Unsalted.” Blahh!

What a difference salt makes. Anyone who has been asked to reduce salt intake will testify that a little salt makes a strong difference in flavor and savor. In Leviticus 2:13 God instructs that salt must be a part of all grain offerings presented to the Lord, “You shall season all your grain offerings with salt. You shall not let the salt of the covenant with your God be missing from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.”

I once accidentally bought unsalted saltine crackers too. Those stinkers still labeled the box “Saltine Crackers” but in much smaller letters wrote, “unsalted.” They should have put a big UN in front of the word saltine or taken the word saltine off the box. The salt makes all the difference.

According to J. Vernon McGee, “Salt is the final ingredient which was included in the meal offering. Salt is a preservative and is the opposite of leaven. Leaven produces decay; salt preserves from corruption. ‘The salt of the covenant’ is still eaten among Arabs as a seal to bind one in faithful obedience to a covenant. Salt was the token of faithfulness between the offeror and God.”

Two additional passages in the OT mention a covenant of salt. Numbers 18:19 “All the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the Lord I give to you (the levitical priests), and to your sons and daughters with you, as a perpetual due. It is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord for you and for your offspring with you.” 2 Chronicles 13:5 “Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?”

A covenant of salt is ongoing and is intended to lead to provision and protection for God’s people. Jesus tells his followers in Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” Believers’ are His salt of the covenant, intended to save and flavor the lives of the people God sprinkles us around.

John Riley

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