Scriptural Gem for May 2016

In Leviticus 2:13 we read: “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.”
In 2 Chronicles 13:5 we read: “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?”
In Numbers 18:19 we read: “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.” (All Scripture references taken from the NIV.)

In all of these readings we find reference to a “covenant of salt.” In ancient times sharing salt signified the highest form of connection with someone. Once you had shared salt with a person, a covenant existed between you and that person; and even if that person became your enemy, you would not dare lay a hand on him. Now in Acts 1:4 we read: “On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.'” When we examine the phrase “eating with them,” we find something very interesting. The original Greek word 'synhalizo' used there, may be broken into two parts: first, 'syn' meaning 'together' and, second, 'halizo' meaning 'to salt'. Literally, the word 'synhalizo' means 'salting together' and 'sharing salt', or 'having intimate table fellowship'. As we saw earlier, taking salt together expressed the highest form of connection or bond between two parties. From that, we may argue that it was quite fitting for Jesus to share salt with his disciples, illustrating their close bond. However, we must consider the rest of the verse for a complete picture: After sharing salt with them, He instructed them to wait in Jerusalem for the gift promised by the Father. This gift, of course, was the Holy Spirit sent to dwell with and in every believer (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9).

There is an expression in Christianity you have likely heard. It goes something like this: “Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship.” Now, logically speaking, if this statement communicated a complete truth, then all Jesus had to do was to share salt with His disciples on that occasion, and the 'bond', the 'relationship' would have been sealed according to ancient custom. However, what He offered His disciples went far beyond that. Even more than a covenant relationship, He instructed that something deeper and more intimate had to be established—they had to be indwelt by His very Spirit! Based on this wonderful truth, the old Christian cliché ought to state: “It is not a relationship, but an indwelling!”

Dear friend, do you have a 'relationship' with Jesus or has He actually overcome and indwelt you? There is a vast difference between the two—seek the answer out that you may rest assured that you are His and He is yours. Amen.