THE COVENANT OF SALT

By Richard Wright

No matter how many times a message of covenant nature is preached or taught, it seems as though it is not heard or understood. If we do not understand that God is a covenant-making, covenant-keeping God and that we are to be a covenant-making, covenant-keeping people, then we will never accomplish our mandates.

We can ordain, set in, appoint, commission, lay hands on, or whatever we call it all day long, but if there is not a complete understanding of the meaning of covenant relationship with each other, it will never work. “Church” will keep on being the same old religious thing.

According to a news release on December 23rd from a recent study, Christians are more likely to divorce than non-Christians. Nondenominational Christians have the highest rate of divorce among all Christians. Covenant is not just about marriage, but about any relationship where two people have agreed to walk together. Why is it that we think that we can just “disappear” or write a “dear John” letter and break off what God has put together without first working out any differences or bothering to keep our word of covenant? How can the work of the Lord ever reach full accomplishment until we understand this?

In Bible times, men understood the meaning of keeping their word with each other at all costs and this was called “the covenant of salt”. Men wore a pouch of salt tied to their belt and when they made covenant, they would each exchange a pinch of salt, putting their grains of salt into the other’s pouch and vice versa. If a man would try to break his covenant, then the other would say “Yes, if you can retrieve your grains and yours only from my pouch of salt”.

Obviously, this was impossible because the grains of salt would all become “as one” when they were mixed together and you could not tell one person’s salt from another’s.

Leviticus 2:13 says, “Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.”

Numbers 18:19 says, "All the offerings of the holy {gifts,} which the sons of Israel offer to the Lord, I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord to you and your descendants with you."

2 Chronicles 13:5 says, "Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?”

Salt is used to preserve from decay, and whatever salt is applied to, it invariably penetrates. It does not lie inert on the surface. It is also an element that gives flavor or zest.

The covenant of salt was a covenant that was most understood between men - it symbolized loyalty, honesty and friendship. It represented that which was a lasting (preserved) covenant.

We are living in a day when deceit, graft and lying are all an accepted way of life... Honesty, integrity, fidelity and genuine loyalty are rare qualities. It is considered “clever” to be able to deceive and mislead others in order to gain advantages. We see this in our present-day justice system and among many of our esteemed government leaders. Unfortunately, this kind of lifestyle has spilled out onto the Church while all the time we are to be the living examples of the God kind of covenant lifestyle.

Matthew 5:13 says, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become , how will it be made salty {again}? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”

The Church has become “ ” and has been trampled under foot. (Strong’s = metaph. to treat with rudeness and insult, to spurn, treat with insulting neglect.)

Nature teaches us many things. A cell has to have a function in a larger organ. If it is a heart cell, its “vision” or genetic programming is to cause the proper functioning of the circulatory system. If it is a nerve cell, its “calling” is to transport electrical impulses and cause the nervous system to function. If any cell turns in on itself and functions solely for its own sake, ignoring its responsibility to the whole system, it is said to be a “rogue” cell and is called cancer. Is there any wonder that there is so much cancer today with so much “self centeredness”?

We need to ask ourselves some hard questions... 1. Do I live a credible life? Do I do what I say I will do? 2. Am I genuine, or do I play games? 3. Can I be counted on to “come through”? 4. Is my “yes” “yes” and my “no” “no”? 5. Does my behavior foster loyalty and friendship?

These are not spectacular things. There is nothing sensational about being solid, reliable and faithful. You do not even read about it.

Remember my favorite Scripture on keeping covenant...“For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only} when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.” (Hebrews 9:16-17)

Some of the Eastern people still practice this phrase: “There is salt between us”.

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, {as it were,} with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:6)