The Salt of the Earth

Most of us like to eat.  We also like to have food that has a good flavor.  Maybe that is sweet or sour, salty or savory.  Maybe you like it roasted or barbequed.  Maybe you like it with tasty sauce or hot and spicy.  When Rebekah prepared food for Isaac, she made it savory, just as he loved it (Genesis 27:14).  But what if your food was bland, with no taste to it.  You probably wouldn’t like it very much. 

Jesus told us that we, as His followers, are the salt of the earth.  Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”  Just as salt enhances the flavor of food and makes it taste good, we make the world have a good flavor to God.  Yes, the world is full of evilness and sin, but righteous Christians make the world tolerable to God. 

Remember the condition of the world before the flood.  Genesis 6:5-8 “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’  But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”  God chose to destroy the world with a great flood because there were only eight righteous persons – Noah, his wife, his three sons and their three wives.  Perhaps not enough seasoning of righteousness for the world to be saved.

Also, remember Lot and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Genesis 18:20-26 “And the Lord said, ‘Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.’  Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord.  And Abraham came near and said, ‘Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?  Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?’  So the Lord said, ‘If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.’”  Abraham continued to bargain with the Lord until the Lord agreed to spare the city if there were just ten righteous there.  But there weren’t that many righteous, so God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.  All that left the city of Sodom were Lot, his wife and their two daughters.  And even Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.  Again, there was not enough seasoning of righteousness for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to be saved.

What about today – in your city and in your country?  It seems that there is much evilness everywhere.  It seems like the world is getting more and more wicked.  There is violence on the increase.  The killing of unborn babies is a plague throughout the land.  Homosexuality is open and condoned.  Witchcraft and Satan worship and the occult is on the rise.  Greediness and disrespect for the law is common.  Drug use and addiction and is a plague.  You, as a Christian, are called to be the salt of the earth.  Are you?  Are you known for always telling the truth?  Are you busy going about doing good and helping others?  Do people know you for taking a stand against wrong and instead defending what is right?  Do you make it known that you believe in God and that Jesus Christ is His Son that came into the world to save sinners?  Are your actions righteous?  Are you flavoring the world around you for God?  Are you the salt of the earth?

Jesus said that “if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”  When salt no longer has the capability to enhance the flavor of food, it is worthless and can be thrown away.  You might as well throw it on the ground and walk on it.  What does that say about you and me?  If we no longer flavor the world, what benefit are we?  If we do not provide a good influence in the world, what good are we to God?

As too much salt makes food unfit to eat, I suppose there is a way that we can make ourselves distasteful with our “righteous actions”.  I’m not suggesting that.  Instead, my encouragement to you is to use wisdom in being the salt of the earth.  We find Paul’s admonition in Colossians 4:5-6 “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.  Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”  Be the salt of the earth that God wants you to be.