“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.” (Mat 5:13 AMP)
Salt in the Middle East is in plentiful supply, and found in several different forms. The Dead Sea, in Israel, has the highest percentages of salt of any body of water on the face of this earth, and is more than 1300 feet below sea level. Much of the salt taken from the area surrounding the Dead Sea is not “pure” salt, and has other minerals mixed in with it. When exposed to natural elements, the outer layers, or crusts, will lose their “saltiness”, and need to be removed. This would expose the inner layers, the pure salt, which could then be used for “seasoning” and preserving. The outer layers were most often used as a road base in the time of Messiah Yeshua, so yes, the worthless salt was trampled underfoot (see our opening verse).
Salt is one of the symbols of Elohim’s covenant with us, His chosen people (see Num 18:19), and the covenant of salt is an everlasting, eternal covenant. When Messiah Yeshua is telling us that we are the salt of the earth, He is telling us that we, those of us that have entered into a covenant relationship with our Messiah, are symbolic of the “salt covenant” that we have with our ABBA Father (see Col 4:5-6). Because salt not only acts to strengthen the flavor of food, but also to preserve food from corruption, so are we to function in those same duties in the society that we live in (strengthen the flavor and preserve from corruption). And herein is the key of the covenant of salt:
“Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” (Mark 9:50
emphasis mine) KJV
The covenant begins with us, and the salt needs to be applied to our own lives first. As we continue to walk in surrender to the work of the Spirit of YHWH, the salt will season us, bring out the fullness of our flavor. It will also expose all hypocrisy and impurities, and burn them out of us, preserving in us the pure Word of truth. Then, and only then, will we have the seasoning effect that Elohim desires us to have on the world around us.
However, when we fail to heed the Spirit of YHWH within, our seasoning will no longer have the desired result. We have all of us tasted of food that was too salty, or perhaps flavorless, with not enough salt. Perhaps we are too “salty” with our words (and actions), and lack the love and compassion that is needed to know when enough has been applied. Or perhaps we have not enough salt of our own, that there would be plenty to season others with …
“Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you].” (Col 4:6 AMP, emphasis mine)