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A Covenant of Salt

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Salt, why was it referred to in the form of a covenant and why did Jesus specifically mention it in relation to the believer?

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I was reading a passage in the Bible yesterday in and the account of King Abijah, the son of King Rehoboam.

I am going to read the account to you guys and then make one of two points of interest that I really like.
Then, I am going to show you the main thing within the passage that really caught my eye and got me to do a little studying for clarification.
The whole point of tonight’s message is just to hopefully give us each of us a greater understanding of possibly why God the Father and the Son used certain phrases and terms when speaking to the nation of Israel.
In doing so, it should also help to expand our understanding of what He wants us to see and learn as His children!
, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
So, if you would, tur n in your Bibles with me, to the book of and I will begin reading from the verse 1.
Now, just for clarity and remembrance, the division that we see here of the nation of Israel, began at the ending of Solomon’s reign over the nation of Israel.
God told Solomon, in , that because he had disobeyed God and went after other gods and served and worshipped them, God was going to tear the kingdom away from him.
However, out of mercy and love, God said that He would not do it, to Solomon, while he was alive, but that it would take place under his son’s reign.
God also prepared the whole thing by letting a previous servant under Solomon, Jeroboam, know that the kingdom was going to be divided and that God was going to make Jeroboam a king over ten tribes of the nation of Israel and give the other to the son of Solomon, so that God’s word of David always having a lamp in Jerusalem would stand!
So, Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, came into rule after Solomon’s death and he made a grave mistake. He listened to the people’s request to ease up the forced labor that had been imposed upon them from his father, Solomon and then, instead of following the wise counsel of the elders around him, he went with the advice of the young guys, that he ran with.
In doing so, he made it clear to the people that he was going to be even more harsh on them, than his father.
As soon as he said this, the people rebelled and this brought about the splitting of Israel into the two nations of Israel and Judah.
So, here in , we see Abijah and Jeroboam squaring off for war.
First take note of what Abijah says to the nation of Israel; that he and his nation have stayed true to God and kept His priests instead of the pagan ways that Jeroboam had indoctrinated with false priests and idols.
Then note, that when Jeroboam and his army tried to overtake the army of Judah by surprise, we read, “Meanwhile, Jeroboam had secretly sent part of his army around behind the men of Judah to ambush them. When Judah realized that they were being attacked from the front and the rear, they cried out to the LORD for help. Then the priests blew the trumpets, and the men of Judah began to shout. At the sound of their battle cry, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel and routed them before Abijah and the army of Judah.”
500,000 men died that day to the army of Israel, even though Israel had Judah outnumbered, 800,000 to 400,000!
15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry, and when the men of Judah raised the war cry, then it was that God arouted Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.
This validates that it does not matter the size of the opponent that we face, because God is the one who fights the battle for us!
Another point that I wanted to make here was that it was from unwise counsel that Rehoboam made the decision that caused the nation to split to begin with, and in like fashion, it was from unwise counsel that Jeroboam made the poor decision to turn to idol worship in Israel, even after God had promised him that he would bless Jeroboam if he stayed faithful to the Lord. We see this mistake in , as it says that Jeroboam took the advice of his counselors and made two golden calves for the people to worship.
And finally the part of this account in that stood out to me and that i really wanted to mention to you tonight, is found in verse 5, where Abijah makes this statement to Jeroboam and the army of Israel, “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?”
Did what caught my attention catch any of yours?
The part of Abijah’s statement, “by a covenant of salt”, is what jumped out at me and got me to reading some more.
What was meant by this and why is salt mentioned as part of a covenant?

It was the issue and use of the word salt that got me to look a little deeper into the passages and thus the main emphasis for tonight.

Salt........what is it, what do we know about it, and why is it of importance within the word of God?
Salt, also known as (For any of you chemistry buffs, do you remember the periodic table component name for salt? Right, NaCl!). It is a very important part of our lives.
Listen to this: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mgs) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Did you know that on average, Americans eat more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day!
In the top ten causes of death in the United States, number one is Heart disease and number 5 is Stroke. (Both of which are affected by high salt consumption!)
Anyway, some interesting facts about salt:
There is some speculation that we get the word “salary”, from a Greek word that had to do with Roman soldiers being compensated with SALT!
This emphasizing the point that “salt” was a highly important and valuable commodity in the ancient world!]
The famous painting by Leonardo DaVinci of the Last Supper, has an interesting piece painted into it. (SHOW PICTURE)
Does anyone know what the item is that Judas is holding in his hand? And does anyone know what the item in front of Judas’ wrist is?
It is in fact, a container of salt! Some speculate that Da Vinci put it there to show of the great loss that was about to come, due to the fact that “salt” in the ancient world was such a valuable commodity.
This painting is also where many people believe that the idiom, that it is bad luck to spill the salt comes from.
Adding salt to water will raise the temperature at which it boils and lower the temperature at which it freezes.
Salt doesn’t ‘go bad’.  It is a mineral and the taste doesn’t change, nor will it be enhanced by grinding it ‘fresh’.
Salt, in most cases, doesn’t burn. Sodium chloride only begins to melt at 1300F give or take a few degrees. (Which is why it is a great idea to keep a large container of salt in your kitchen, in case of a grease fire. Salt will draw the heat away and put out the fire!
Every cell in the body contains salt - an adult contains about 250 grams.
Salt was used to preserve Egyptian mummies.
Sodium works along side of another mineral known as “K” (Potassium) to allow for every nerve to fire off in the human body. The “sodium-potassium” pump, is crucial for our life, because without these two minerals in our bodies, the brain cannot transmit its signals for function and no muscle will contract!
The Hebrew word for salt is, “melach” (מלח), a noun that comes from the root word “malach” (מלח) which means to rub to pieces or pulverize, to disappear as dust, or to season or rub with salt.
The first use of this word in the Old Testament, is found in , in which Lot’s wife turns back to look at the city being destroyed and she is instantly turned into, “melach”, salt. (Or, as the definition also mentions, she was in fact, “pulverized; to disappear as dust!)
Salt, by this definition, could refer to destruction, as was a common use in ancient days. Whenever one group destroyed another, they would sometimes put salt all over the ground to make it barren.
, “ The battle went on all day before Abimelech finally captured the city. He killed the people, leveled the city, and scattered salt all over the ground. “
This was a final judgement.
This reminds me of the statement, “Someone threw sodium chloride at me one time..........THAT’S A SALT!”
Two peanuts were walking down the road; one was assaulted!
Salt, besides the depiction of judgement/destruction, was also commonly used in middle eastern culture and other parts of the world, as a symbol of agreement as in a truce or a binding covenant.
When two parties came together, with a mutual understanding of what they wanted, then the exchange of salt, (many times with bread) took place and it became a binding agreement between the two parties.
There was also in existence, in ancient times, the blood covenant, as we know that God entered into with Abraham and then, in the New Testament, was fulfilled and ratified and solidified for all times through the finished work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross!
A blood covenant was more common when there were differences between the two parties, as opposed to similarities.
When Yahweh made the blood covenant with Abraham, God, Himself made and obligated Himself to the covenant, as there were no true and equal commonalities that He and Abraham shared in this covenant. God brought everything to the table and only God was able to fulfill the covenant.
Abraham, (MANKIND), could not fulfill this in any way, as only God is pure and Holy and able to make and keep such a covenant.
The blood covenant, between men, would be reached through deliberation and coming to terms about what all was wanted and then it was sealed with the shedding of blood and thus binding.
You know, the word “covenant” appears more than 250 fifty times in the Old Testament, yet, the term “covenant of salt” only occurs three times.
In many ancient and middle eastern cultures there exists a saying that says, “There is salt between us”, which basically meant and referred to the fact that the two members in the situation, had swapped salt together, signifying that they had made a binding agreement with one another.
I heard one account of how Roman soldiers would carry salt and if they decided to make an agreement with one another, then they would each pour some of their salt into the others hand and mix it up with some of theirs, by shaking it up in their hands.
By doing this, the understanding was simple. “What was yours, is now indistinguishable from mine. They are now one and the same and we can never take back what was once our own. “
This was a binding deal and it was also the same as swapping salt at a meal and eating it. Once it was done, there was no retrieving each others again!
So, if you look at the three occurences of the salt covenant and pair it up with man’s already existing understanding of what salt was, its value and its use and then look at God’s “covenant of salt” it makes more sense.
Leviticus 2:13 NLT
Season all your grain offerings with salt to remind you of God’s eternal covenant. Never forget to add salt to your grain offerings.
Numbers 18:19 ESV
All the holy contributions that the people of Israel present to the Lord I give to you, 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 ESV
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?
Salt was understood as a very valuable commodity, it was a preservative, it was a purifying agent, it was something that was solidified and cohesive and lasting. This, paired up with its common use as a binding agent between two friends, in an agreement gives us God’s use for it.
When God’s people brought sacrifices and offerings to the Lord, these were added to with salt, as a sign of eternal purity and preserving.
These salt covenants were promises of God for those whom God called as priests,as a guarantee for their portion, their inheritance ,and also, these covenants were a guarantee for the Davidic line to forever to remain in kingship.
Jesus came and fulfilled and solidified these salt covenants by becoming our great high priest and making us as priests under Him and thus guaranteeing our reward and inheritance forever.
He also fulfilled and established the Davidic line by seating Himself as King upon the throne, who’s reign shall never end!
And just as the salt cove
Psalm 89:34–37 ESV
I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah
If you flash forward into the New Testament, you see Jesus mentioning in , “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.”
Well, as we have previously mentioned, what is salt; what are its characteristics and uses:
It is a preservative - If we are the salt, then we are to take the word of God, which will always remain pure, (, “The words of the Lord are pure words: As silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.) And with the pure and eternal word of God, we serve to prevent death and decay in the spiritual realm, that can only come from those who accept the word and become part of the covenant of salt.
Salt is a purifier - We are to stand firmly in a corrupt and decaying world, that will not completely embrace the eternal and pure Word of God and resist the evil of this world, just as salt resists bacterial growth and stops the spread of the infection or disease.
As silver gtried in a furnace of earth, hpurified iseven times.
Salt pulls out the moisture that is needed for certain bacteria to spread and without moisture, the bacteria stops thriving.
7  Thou shalt keep them, O Lord,
Thou shalt preserve †them from this generation for ever.
Well, as we become part of the covenant of salt, we become the salt that resists the evil corruption of this world and we remove and dispel and expose the lies of the enemy (as we are also the light of the world) and thus we remove the very thing, (the moisture, if you will), that is needed for the spread of the bacteria. THE EVIL!
WE must not back down or be afraid to stand and be the salt and purify through the TRUTH of His Word to an evil and dying and corrupt nation and world around us!
We only speak His words and He does the rest, as God has said, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Salt is an enhancer - Everywhere that we go, we are to enhance the world around us with the good news of the gospel message!
We ought not to sit back and with hold the salt, as this is not what God ordained the covenant of salt for. We are to be ambassadors of the salt and the light!
Salt is hard and cohesive - it holds together, down to the last grain. It has a string ionic bond,as along as it does not become submersed into water.
As Christians, those of the covenant of salt, we must become bonded together and not break apart. We must stand for what is right, no matter the pressure put upon us!
Jesus said that salt, if it loses flavor, how can it be salty again?
Well, salt, pure and good salt (not like some of the salts that were mixed with other minerals and could be rogue, if you will, as the other minerals changed or were tainted), pure salt only loses its saltiness basically through one medium.
Salt is made up of two ion, NaCl and compression, fire and time will not do it, but being immersed into water, will cause the dissociation of the ions and make them separate. When they separate, then you no longer have the saltiness.
If we, as the salt, become immersed in the world (the water in this situation), then we become an enemy of God and when this happens, we separate ourselves from Him; we lose our savor, our saltiness.
Or, the other reason that salt is no longer salty, is of the taste buds of the person, are damaged and they no longer perceive the savor.
If someone is so into the world and its ways, that they have suppressed the Holy Spirit and are no longer hearing His call and counsel, then their spiritual taste buds are dead and the salt will not have its savor. These are the reprobate ones that the Bible mentions as in .
STOP there for now!
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