Are you BEING the salt of the Earth? Do you even know HOW? The salt of the Earth is not a title, it is a JOB. A job that requires WORK, requires EFFORT to perform it – and to do that, you have to know what that job entails – you can’t very well do something if you don’t even know what it is!
Salt is composed of one atom of Sodium and one of Chlorine, hence it’s chemical formula is NaCl, or Sodium Chloride. And we have heard a lot from traditional medicine in the last few years about how bad salt is for our bodies. Salt is bad, salt is evil, etc. But God disagrees!
Luke 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?
God says Salt is good. Now who will we believe? A science who continually has some fad, some current evil that must be avoided at all costs – in my short lifetime I can recall a time when Cholesterol was the cause of all man’s ills. Then there was the time when Fat was to blame for every malady. Salt of course had it’s day as the harbinger of death, and these days we are on a witchhunt to eliminate Carbs.
Surely it is logical to assume that in a few years Carbs will be forgotten and we will be on a low-vegetable diet, or a diet poor in red colored foods, or some other fad. So will we believe this science, or God – the guy who made salt in the first place, and must have some vague idea of how salt and the human body interact!
So then; salt is good. But what does it do? Salt’s most obvious feature is that it makes bland foods taste better.
Job 6:6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
Salt makes a dish that would otherwise be dog food fit for human consumption. And it only takes a little bit of it to accomplish this. Salt preserves foods and prevents bacteria and decay in meats and other foods. It also hurts if you rub it into an open sore – but it actually makes the wound heal faster in the end.
Professional Chefs often rub their fingers in salt when they cut themselves; it hurts like your finger is exploding, but it stops hurting soon and the pain never returns. Salt is also a good electrical conductor, which is why the human bloodstream is rather saline.
But salt has another peculiarity; once salt has gotten stale, and old, it cannot be used as salt. It loses it’s “saltiness” and becomes “flat”. What happens is it oxidizes, or combines with Oxygen over time, and forms a compound that is more stable and less willing to go to work on food.
It was important to lay that groundwork of what salt is; now we can understand the analogy as it applies to us.
Matthew 5:13 YE ARE the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
God said that WE, that is, His disciples are the salt of the Earth. He spoke these words to a large crowd at the sermon on the Mount. But what did He mean? To the same people He also said in the next verse:
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
These people He was speaking to were hearing His truth; the knowledge that could turn the world into a better place. They had the LIGHT which would teach the nations to live a happier life, one that God would be more pleased with.
Psalms 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
His words gave them light; it gave them understanding of truth, and He wanted that light to be spread before the world; He didn’t want it hidden under a bushel so that no one could see it! He didn’t want them to hide in a corner and avoid confrontation with the evil in the world, He didn’t want them to AVOID discussing Christmas with their co-workers or family, He wanted their light to SHINE before the world! He wanted them to be so full of that truth that they simply COULDN’T keep it to themselves!
And if they did this, they would turn others to righteousness, and teach others to be more acceptable to God, and in this way, they could “salt” the Earth! Those few disciples could make the whole planet taste better to God by their actions! It doesn’t take a lot of righteous men for God to have some hope for mankind; even a city as horrible as Sodom and Gomorrah could have been overlooked, with enough salt!
Genesis 18:20-26 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
God said He would spare the entire city if only FIFTY men in it were righteous – if there was just a LITTLE SALT in that town, the whole town would be palatable enough for God to let it continue to exist! But then Abraham got to thinking; and realized he couldn’t come up with 50 righteous men in Sodom. So he nagged God about 45, 40,30,20, and finally God agreed that even if there were only TEN righteous people in the city He would spare it!
Of course, as it happened, there was only one – Lot. The city, needless to say, didn’t get spared; imagine putting just one grain of salt on a plate of bland vegetables. Doesn’t do much for ya, does it? Lot just wasn’t enough salt for a city that lousy.
But God sees the world as a whole in the same way. When the overall salt content of the world gets too low, God cannot stomach it any longer.
Genesis 6:5-8 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
God looked at our planet and saw it as being totally evil, and only Noah out of the perhaps 2 billion pre-flood inhabitants was righteous. Noah was the salt of the Earth, but there just wasn’t enough of him to go around! Had there been a hundred Noahs, or a thousand, perhaps God would have spared the Earth for their sake, but as it was, He just had to wipe it out and start over.
But let’s return to this idea of HOW Noah salted the Earth, and how we can! And most particularly, how salt irritates a wound.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Noah, who we have already established as a salty character, so to speak, was pleasing to God by faith – as it just said in the previous verse, without faith it is impossible to please Him. By faith Noah obeyed God, and feared God, and in so doing condemned the world.
The world no doubt did not like Noah – since it has never yet liked a prophet of God. One can imagine the pre-flood version of a Comic strip devoted to Noah; the jokes which made the rounds of society about the crazy man and his boat. But most importantly, it hated him because his righteous actions condemned it. But Noah didn’t stop there! Oh, no – Noah wasn’t content just to let his righteousness set a shining example for the world. He had to preach about it too!
2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
So here Noah is, preaching that the world is about to be destroyed for its sins in a great flood – a preaching which lasted for 120 years – and you know that had to irritate the world. It rubbed salt right where it hurts on the wounds inside their soul. Just as Peter and Stephen did in…
Acts 5:33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them.
Acts 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
The words of Stephen saying that these men had ALWAYS resisted the spirit of God, just as their fathers did in the wilderness, and the words of Peter saying that they had killed the creator and the God of the universe, cut these men right down to where they lived! They found the sore spot and POKED it! THIS IS WHAT SALT ALWAYS DOES!
Of course, as I said earlier, salt ultimately makes the sore spot better, although it hurts at first. At a different time, to a different group of people, Peter said essentially the same thing – that these people had killed Christ – and it had the same effect, but with a different outcome!
Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
These men had salt rubbed in THEIR wounds, but instead of trying to kill the salt and wash it out, they wanted to FIX the problem, and so they were instructed to REPENT of their sins, and CHANGE their ways, and the pain would stop! Many of them did as they were instructed, and Peter, the SALT OF THE EARTH, HEALED THE SORE BY RUBBING TRUTH IN THEIR HYPOCRISY! THAT ALWAYS HURTS!
But while it always hurts, it is also the ONLY WAY hypocrisy and evil can BE healed!
Matthew 9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
Every man ever born is a hypocrite! And every one must repent and see his own evil and change before he can be of any use to God! And to do that, EVERY ONE MUST MEET SALT! Every one must have his own sins thrust up into his face and be forced to DEAL with them, before the healing process can begin! And when this process follows through to completion, he will, himself, become the light of the world and the salt of the Earth!
He, TOO can be on fire for the truth! The ZEAL of the Lord can eat him up! And he can SHINE his light to his friends, family, co-workers, and if he is motivated enough, to the whole world! And he can SALT the earth and make the whole planet more tasteful to God, and turn mankind to righteousness!
He will do this by CONFRONTING SIN, and pouring salt into their open wounds, and hopefully initiating the same process which was once initiated in himself! He can PASS on that salt to others, and if YOU AREN’T DOING THIS, YOU ARE NOT THE SALT OF THE EARTH!
Matthew 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
Because there is yet another side to this matter! There is indeed much to know about that little molecule of NaCl! And God uses it to describe His disciples for a reason! Once this man has faced his sins and dealt with them, he IS salt – but he may not STAY salt! If he is overcome by his weaknesses, by his relatives, by greed, or simply distracted and turned complacent, HE STOPS BEING SALT!
And once a man is salted and goes stale, once his ZEAL DIES, he has oxidized just like salt has and has become just another bland part of the boring dish of planet Earth! That salt cannot be REsalted and turned on fire for the word of God again! He cannot be used to reconcile mankind to God, for he has himself become stale!
Luke 14:35 It [salt] is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Once you have heard the truth, repented, and BEEN SALT, if you go stale on Him you are worthless – not even fit to be put on a dunghill! If you have been through the process, and learned what God wants from you, and rejected it, well… people like that…
Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
The bottom line; you can’t salt salt. So how does all this boil down to you? Be salt. Never let anyone forget what you believe or where you stand. Teach the truth wherever you are, and show the world its sins every chance you get. Jump at the opportunity to rub salt in a sore spot, to take advantage of a chink in someone’s spiritual armor. To show up a hypocrite for the double-minded, soulless creature that he is. He will not like you for it initially. Most will hate you for it for the rest of this life – but some few will love you for it.
Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
And those who love you for it, are the ones whom God loves, the ones who make the Earth palatable, and the ones you were put on this Earth to find, and finally… the only ones who really matter for now.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Your attitude and speech should be reasonable, sane, and even nice, but never let the seasoning of salt leave it. Never let it lose its ability to cut a hypocrite to the heart, and you will always have a solid, helpful answer for everyone. More importantly, you won’t go stale yourself and have to be cast out to the dunghill.