The Usefulness of Salt

Posted by on Sep 30, 2009 in Blog Posts | 1 comment


“Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
– Luke 14:34-35 (ESV)

More than likely you’ve heard sermons preached on the value of salt as used in the Bible in numerous analogies.

I know I have and I stay fascinated with the topic and why God would use salt so much in His Word.

I found 47 references to “salt” in the Bible during a recent word study.

Salt is useful for purifying, seasoning, and preserving. It has qualities of endurance. Think of how long a Virginia salt-cured ham can last!

We see it used in the Old Testament worship practices. Covenants were made by eating bread and salt or salt alone.

Newborn children were rubbed with it as a cleanser. Even today, we bathe in it. Epsom salts are cleansing and cathartic in value. Right now, sitting on my bathtub shelf is a jar of a mixture of salts to scoop out and soak in. Unless I put a scoop-full in the tub and get in, those salts are of little value. They look pretty in the jar. Until they get out of the jar, they are waiting to be used. So it is with believers “waiting” to share the gospel. We might look pretty and all Christian-ish, but what good are we if we’re not fulfilling our purpose for God?

Salt causes us to become thirsty. The right amount and positive way of our gospel sharing causes others to thirst for more of it. Something in the believer causes the lost to take note, hopefully in a good way, and wonder what it is. They may be drawn to them as a result.

Salt was also useful for trading and bartering because of its value. Salt is still a valuable resource although we don’t barter with it. Have you noticed the plethora of artisan salts popping up in small amounts with high prices in gourmet food stores? We are of value to God. We have purposes to fulfill that He specifically created us to complete in our lifetimes.

Recently I was seasoning some green beans with my standard Kosher sea salt at our place in the mountains. I shook the salt over the pot, stirred, and sampled a bean. Nothing. It had no taste other than that of a blah green bean. I checked the shaker to make sure it was not clogged and started the shaking process again followed by another taste. Nothing. My salt had lost its saltiness. It made me mad. My green beans weren’t going to be very delish and I so don’t like to serve a dish that has no goodness to it. It reflects on my character in the kitchen. The finished product leaves a bad impression. That salt in the shaker had lost its value to me and I threw it out.

Salt is of value as long as it keeps its salty quality. We see this in the New Testament as a description of disciples maintaining their saltiness. Without the saltiness, they were of no value and were likened to being trampled underfoot. So it is today. If it fails to be salty, it has lost its purpose for existence and should be discarded (in the trash or on the road). See Matthew 5:13.
In the passage above, unsalty salt is not even useful for dirt or manure piles! Wow! That’s pretty bad salt; it has no redeeming qualities.

Interestingly, Sir Lyon Playfair in an article on February 29, 1884 in The New York Times, gave more explanation to his scientific thoughts pertaining to a connection between salt and asphalt. If you want to see that, click here.

How salty are you? Has your salt lost its value? Are you maintaining your spiritual integrity? Are you willing to maintain your allegiance to Christ at all costs? To do otherwise is to toss yourself out as useful road covering fit for trampling.

One Comment

  1. So, saltiness cannot be restored?? Salt has a shelf life? It just must be used and replenished/replaced? Something to ponder…

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