And every oblation of your meat offering shall you season with salt…
It has been thought by some unworthy of the notion of an Infinite Being to consider him as concerned about such petty details as those here laid down for observance. But since the Deity had to deal with uninstructed creatures, with men whose ideas of his greatness and holiness were obscure and imperfect, it was surely wise to act according to the analogy furnished by the customs of earthly monarchs, whose courts require attention to be paid to numberless points of behaviour. Only thus could the august nature of Jehovah, the majesty of his attributes, and the solemnity of religious worship be duly impressed upon the minds of the Israelites. Every rite had a meaning, and to add salt to every offering was a command we shall find it interesting to study.
I. OBEDIENCE TO THIS COMMAND CONSTITUTES EVERY OFFERING A PART OF THE COVENANT BETWEEN GOD AND HIS PEOPLE. It was by virtue of a special covenant that the nation had been selected as the vehicle of Divine revelation and the repository of Divine favours. The relation of superiority in which God stands to man, places in a strong light his condescension in making an agreement by which he binds himself as well as the people. Every covenant implies mutual obligations. God promised to guide and bless the Israelites if they, in their turn, kept his commandments and held him in proper esteem. To put salt, therefore, in compliance with his behest, was to acknowledge that the covenant remained in force, and the act became a present instance of the existence of the covenant. It was as much as to say, "I present this gift because of the covenanted relationship in which I stand to Jehovah." The covenant of the gospel is ratified in Christ for all his faithful seed, who are made partakers of the blessing promised to Abraham (Galatians 3:16). Hence whatever we do is in the name of Christ, recognizing our sonship, heirship, and co-heirship. The covenant influences, embraces all thoughts and deeds.
II. SALT, AS THE EMBLEM OF HOSPITALITY, SHOWS THAT SERVICE TO GOD IS A FEAST OF FRIENDSHIP. The offering of flour on which oil was poured was itself indicative of a friendly meal, and this view was strengthened by adding salt to the sacrifice. So surprising is the intimacy to which the Most High admits his people, that they may be said to feed daily at his table; all the fruits of the earth are the product of his bounty, which honours men as his guests. We do but render to God what he first bestowed; and in thus approaching we enjoy his presence and favour. It is permitted us to make ready for the Passover, whereat the Lord shall sit down with his disciples.
III. SALT, AS A PRESERVATIVE, REMINDS US OF THE PURITY WHICH SHOULD CHARACTERIZE OUR LIVES. Nothing that partakes of corruption is fit to be brought unto the ever-living God. "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit." "Flesh and blood" tend to impurity and death, and "cannot inherit the kingdom of God." Our speech must he with grace, seasoned with salt, lest anything destructive of peace or edification should issue from our lips. Apart from the life that is instilled through faith in Christ, man is dead, and decay is loathsome. Without faith our walk and conversation cannot please God, nor are we "the salt of the earth." Christians are salted with the purifying fire of trial (Mark 9:49).
IV. SALT TEACHES US THE PERPETUITY OF OUR FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD. A covenant of salt is for ever. (See Numbers 18:19 and 2 Chronicles 13:5.) It lasts as long as the conditions are observed by us, for God will never change, nor desire on his part to revoke his blessing. Let us rejoice in the truth that he abideth faithful, and in the thought of the indissoluble alliance thereby created. He does not wish to treat us as playthings, invented to amuse him temporarily, and then to be tossed aside. We are put in possession by the great Healer and Life-restorer of imperishable principles, seeds of righteousness, that avert corruption and defy decay. Our devotion is not a hireling service that may soon terminate, but a consecration for the everlasting ages. - S.R.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.
WEB: Every offering of your meal offering you shall season with salt; neither shall you allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your meal offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt.