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)
Under the Old Covenant, not every sacrifice was of an animal and with blood. God also accepted the grain offering. Like every one of the offerings made by ancient Israel, the grain offering had to be made with salt. Why did God command this?
Salt Speaks of Purity
As a chemical compound, salt can’t change. It has an inherent purity. God wanted every sacrifice brought before Him to come from a pure heart. Some of what we do for God is from impure motives. We should ask God to give us the purest of motives: to show our gratitude and to honor His glory. I’ve also heard that salt itself cannot change, but it can be corrupted by what it added to it. When our motives are impure, it is often because we add concern about our own glory and prestige. Ask God to build in you the purity of salt.
Salt Speaks of Preservation
As a preservative, salt stops the normal operations of flesh. It is the nature of flesh to spoil, but salt-cured meat will stay good. Long before we used refrigeration and freezing to keep things, people preserved meats by salting them. When we come before God, we don’t come in our own “spoiled flesh.” We come in the name of Jesus, on the basis of His merits, not ours. We can only be “preserved” by the constant work of God in us.
Salt Speaks of Preciousness
Salt was an expensive, valued commodity in the ancient world. Roman soldiers were sometimes paid in salt. Adding salt to every sacrifice was a way to make each offering to God a little more costly, a little more precious. We need to put our best into everything, and give everything unto God.
If you go to the market you can see some foods that are “salt free” or “reduced salt.” That might be just what someone needs in their diet, but when we think of what salt symbolized for ancient Israel, we understand that we should never life a “salt free” or “reduced salt” life.
Every day is a gift we can and should give to God. It’s proper that we “season” or “sprinkle” our day with the understanding of:
– The purity God wants us to live out: Jesus is our purity
– The preserving work God wants to do in us: Jesus preserves us to the end
– The precious nature of each moment we give to God: Everything given to Jesus is precious
Even a small sacrifice can be precious before God if it is seasoned with salt!