And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering.
With all your offerings you shall offer salt.
[Leviticus 2:13 NKJV]
The image today is of a quick piece of work — a demonstration for a watercolour workshop — which included showing what you can do by sprinkling salt onto your paper. You will see that there is what looks like snow falling in the top part of the picture; that is the ‘salt effect’.
What the salt does — when put into the watercolour at the right moment — is twofold. It soaks up the colour and, at the same time, dissolves and pushes the colour aside, creating a star or snowflake effect on the paper. Used sparingly, it can greatly enhance the outcome of the work.
In the same way, salt acts in our food and gives flavour to a meal; too much and it overwhelms; too little and it is bland and can seem tasteless. The conclusion must be that we cannot do without salt. The Bible talks of a Covenant of Salt, referred to as the covenant of your God in the Leviticus passage here.
So what is it about salt that makes it an essential part of a binding covenant with God? We can see that when Lot’s wife looked back she was turned into a pillar of salt. Too much salt kills. We are told it can cause high blood pressure; but too little salt is also injurious, and some —particularly athletes — are prescribed salt tablets to help rehydration and to restore electrolyte balance.
This seems to hit the target — balance! The Lord loves balance in all things, and as a God of judgement we are weighed in the balances. The right balance of salt acts as a restorative and is essential for good health. Spiritually, this translates as a right attitude and good character.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavour, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
[Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV]
Finally, Strong’s Concordance says that the Greek word used here (halas) means ‘prudence’ figuratively; but expands that with:
If you only take your own ideas, you will never know the truth. The whole truth is the only truth, and the whole truth is Jesus Christ — “I am ... the Truth.” Any bit of truth is an error if taken alone.