Salt is not only good for adding flavor to a meal it is an essential for life. Composed mainly of sodium chloride, this crystalline mineral in its natural form is known as rock salt. The purified form we use for our food is either mined or gathered by evaporating sea water. Some salts have proven to have benefits beyond adding flavor to a tasty dish. Two of the more popular salts, Sea Salt and Himilayan Salt, have risen in popularity for the numerous advantages they have when added to your diet. According to the popular health physician Dr. Axe Sea Salt is rich in trace minerals, helps avoid dehydration by balancing your fluids, is an excellent source for electrolytes which regulate the heartbeat during muscle contractions during activity, is essential for proper brain, muscle and nervous system function, aids in digestive health, alkalizes the body, eliminates mucus build up, and helps to the build the body’s immune system. Himilayan Salt also regulates water content throughout the body, eliminates food particles through the intestinal tract, supports respiratory health, promotes sinus health, strengthens the bones and supports the libido. Both promote blood sugar health, reduce signs of aging, and regulate sleep and blood pressure. I don’t know about you, but after reading all that information I ordered some!
Salt was a common seasoning in the Bible too. It was an important addition to a diet that was comprised mainly of grains and vegetables. It was obtained by evaporating the waters of the Dead Sea which is seven times saltier than regular sea water or mined from a great ledge of rock salt in a nearby valley. The purer form of this salt was used in flavoring food and rock salt was spread lightly on soil as a fertilizer. Salt could also be used medicinally as in Ezek. 16:4 where it is used as a solution to wash a newborn infant. In NT times salt was used as a form of payment by the Roman army to its officers and men. Salt is mentioned 35 times in Scripture in a number of settings, the most unusual is probably the story of Lot’s wife who turns into a pillar of salt when she glances back at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:26). Scripture also uses salt symbolically as a representation of purity, loyalty and either desolation or fruitfulness. It was a required part of the OT sacrifices (Lev. 2:13; Ezek. 43:24) and the prophet Elisha used it to purify a poisonous spring (2 Ki. 2:19-22). Salt was also associated with the land, especially in connection with the negative impact it could have (Jud. 9:45; Dt. 29:23).
But it is Jesus’ words about salt that most people remember (Mt. 5:13). In this passage Jesus is referring to the rock salt which was used as a fertilizer. When it contained minerals which gave it some form of taste, the salt added nutrients to the soil. But those minerals could be leached from the salt by moisture causing the salt to deteriorate under high heat. Without its “saltiness” the salt had no value to anyone. Jesus is admonishing His followers to keep the value of their salt at its most useful level. Paul also used salt to describe the conduct of believers. In Col. 4:6 he writes, “Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person”. Whether it is rock salt or table salt, each kind is useful; one for agriculture, the other for food. But the key is that the salt is useful. Lawrence O. Richards noted, “As our lives reflect our personal relationship with God the Father, we “fertilize” others, stimulating their spiritual growth, enabling them to taste and see the goodness of our God.” I want my salt to be just as beneficial to others as Sea Salt or Himilayan Salt is to me. The only way I can do that is to let Jesus be the Salt that fertilizes me (Gal. 5:16-23; Phil. 2:1-8; Col. 3: 12-17). How’s your saltiness these days?
Ann H. LeFevre, M. Div.
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