THE SALT COVENANT

( All rights reserved - 2000 )

THE COVENANT OF UNKNOWN INTENTIONS

When primitive nomads meet another tribe at a desert water hole, they need a social convention by which both tribes may drink of the life-giving water without fear. In Avraham's day this was accomplished with a salt covenant, which might also be called a COVENANT OF UNKNOWN INTENTIONS.

With most of their prospective tribes hidden so that they would not reveal their strengths and weaknesses, the leaders of both tribes would approach one another at the watering hole. Both would hold out their hands to the other, palms up, with a few grains of salt in the palm of the hand. Each would lick the salt out of the palm of the other's hand.

The two leaders might not share a common language. Many of their customs might be different. The act of sharing each other's salt was a way of saying "As long as our tribes are together at the watering hole, we will do each other no harm. I may not use the things I observe about your tribe to attack, harm, or cause trouble to any member of your group."

This is a TEMPORARY covenant. It is also a very sacred covenant. The salt covenant allowed both tribes to come to the life-giving water without threat, hesitation, or fear.

G*D'S SALT COVENANT WITH ISRAEL

After hundreds of years spent in Egypt, much of it in captivity as slaves, the Israelites had a false concept of G*d. Their belief about diety was colored and twisted by the way the Egyptians viewed their gods.

The Egyptians believed that a multiple of dieties could be deceived, manipulated, and tricked. They thought that diety was hostile, by nature, to humanity, and constantly needed appeasment.

The Almighty One of Israel, the maker of Heaven and Earth, the G*d of the Blood Covenant with Avraham, Yitzak, and Yakov, wanted the Israelites to come to him with an attitude of confidence. He did not want the Israelites constantly approaching Him with the fear, dread, and anxiety which they had frequently displayed between the crossing of the Red Sea and the giving of Torah at Mount Sinai.

Their sacrifices to the Almighty were the place of common meeting. The sacrifice was the watering hole in the desert. When they met G*d at the altar of sacrifice, whether it was a sin offering or a heave offering, G*d commanded them to mix salt into their sacrificial offerings -

"And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy G*d to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt." (Lev. 2:13)

All the heave offerings of the holy things, which the children of Israel offer unto the LORD, have I given thee, and thy sons and thy daughters with thee, by a statute for ever: it is a covenant of salt forever before the LORD unto thee and to thy seed with thee." (Num. 18:19)

G*D IS NOT HOSTILE TO US!

The very first lie told about G*d, when Eve was deceived, was a suggestion that G*d was not interested in the welfare of His creation. The Liar, the Deceiver (that is what the adjective frequently translated SATAN means) displays, through the entire Biblical record, a strong desire to deceive mankind about the nature of G*d. He wants us to believe that G*d is more interested in judging and condemning humanity than in caring for our welfare.

The entire thrust of the Almighty's dealing with humanity is expressed by Rabbi Shaul in this passage from the Brit Chadasha -

Now then we are ambassadors for Messiah, as though G*d is using us to beg and plead with you: we plead with you as a stand-in for the Messiah, you be reconciled with G*d. (II Cor. 5:20)

Humanity needs to hear the same message today which they have always needed to hear -

G*D IS NOT THE PROBLEM!

Our Creator is not the author of our difficulties. He is not the author of our problems. He was not the author of the Shoah, (the Holocaust). His actions, through all history unto the present age, and in this day, are designed to suit one purpose: To bring humanity to an understanding of His true nature.

The Davidic dynasty was an expression of that great desire. II Chron. 13:5 tells us that
"...the LORD G*d of Israel gave the Kingdom to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt.."

When animal sacrifices were reestablished following the return of the children of Israel from captivity in Babylon, The Almighty One of Israel showed His desire to have the people of Israel understand that He was not hostile to them by giving the instruction in Ezra 6:9; "And that which they have need of, both young bullocks, and rams, and lambs, for the burnt offerings of the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, according to the appointment of the priests which are at Jerusalem, let it be given them day by day without fail:"

He further instructed in Ezekial 43:24,
"And thou shalt offer them before the LORD, and the priests shall cast salt upon them, and they shall offer them up for a burnt offering unto the LORD."

WE STILL HAVE A SALT COVENANT WITH G*D!

Lest someone should think or say, "This is all interesting, but there are no animal sacrifices, so this has no meaning for us," I will point to the words of Yeshua Ha Meshiach. He refers to the Mosaic Salt Covenant when He tells us in Mark 9:49, "For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt."

We no longer bring the blood of animal sacrifices to Ha Shem - The blood of the Messiah is the final blood sacrifice, providing for the complete removal of the stain of sin for all mankind, providing the final act of reconciliation between G*d and humanity. Yet, we still need to bring sacrifices to G*d. Our sacrifice is a contrite heart, a seeking spirit, and desire to serve Him with all our heart.

HOW DO WE SALT OUR SACRIFICES TODAY?

We salt our hearts by coming to Ha Shem with confidence that He loves us, cares for us, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Above all, we need to remove any attitude of terror, dread, or of a feeling that He is some ogre in the sky who is diligently examining humanity to find someone upon whom He can inflict disaster.




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