covenant of salt
a spiritual mentorship ministry
To deepen connections with our Hearts of Hope families through a ministry of Christian witness and mentorship.
Using the Biblical significance of salt as our guiding metaphor, we will bind ourselves to our Hearts of Hopes families to form more enduring connections and to provide structured opportunities for those families to make an enduring connection with our Lord Jesus Christ.
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biblical salt reference
“Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.”
“Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord I give to you and your sons and daughters as your perpetual share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.”
2 Chronicles 13:5
“Don’t you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?”
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
Throughout the Bible, salt is used as a metaphor to help understand God’s relationship with us, our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our purpose as His disciples to be the salt of the earth. Salt was a precious mineral, so precious that people were sometimes paid in a wage of salt. It was used to purify and preserve foods, especially meats, to flavor foods, to disinfect, to cleanse newborns and as a symbol of friendship. When a friend ate the salt in the foods offered by sharing a meal together with another, they were believed to became joined in a life-long connection/covenant – that same salt was an eternal part of the other’s body.
God knew that salt was an integral part of every table and during the old testament days, the alter was God’s table. This understanding was purposefully included when the peace offering was communicated from God through Moses to God’s people in Leviticus. This “meal” brought to God’s table was to be shared in 3 ways: God was to have the fat and the kidneys; the priest and his family were to have the breast and the right shoulder; the giver of the offering was to have the rest of the animal. Before it was placed on the alter, it was to be rubbed with salt because all sacrifices to the Lord without salt were unsavory. All of these points are critical to the understanding of our Covenant of Salt ministry. In this way, God, his chosen priest and the person offering the sacrifice shared a meal together- an animal rubbed in salt signifying that the three were forever joined together or connected by a covenant as we hope to be with our Covenant of Salt families.
According to John Ritenbaugh in his essay entitled “The Peace Offering” this sharing of the same “table” was to fill all three (God, Priest and Giver) with these feelings: gratification, contentment, acceptance, conviction, supplication and assurance thus producing feelings of peace and harmony in all three participants. What a blessing it will be to our Hearts of Hope families if we can share these feelings of Grace with them.
If we carry the salt analogy into the New Testament, we learn that God is calling us to understand salt in an even deeper way; he is calling us to be the salt.
We are to flavor his Word according to His direction so that it is savory to others; we are to bring others to faith through shared community, and we are to be preservatives of the Faith. However, Matthew cautions us, that we are only effective if we maintain our saltiness. Those people to whom we are called to minster have been tested, tried and diluted by the demands of this world. Working together, we can infuse or perhaps reinfuse some to a life lived in that Covenant of Salt which yields peace and harmony.
We will both literally and figuratively share salt with some of our Hearts of Hope Families through this ministry making them our brothers and sisters in Christ.