Did you know at one time Romans soldiers’ pay was considered their salt-money? Did you know that the word salary comes from the word salt? Did you know that there is a road called Via Salaria – a road originally constructed to transport salt?
Do your kids know the Bible talks about salt?
Matthew 5:13 reads: You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
What a great discussion for the dinner table some night.
But what does it mean that we should be the salt of the earth? Bible scholars aren’t 100% sure – though a lot of meanings come through. Most think that the Lord was using the characteristics of salt to illustrate the Christian life. At the same time, the Lord could’ve been making an overall statement about the extreme value of salt.
Let’s look at some possible ways to compare.
- Salt is a preservative, protecting the meat or fish against decay. Back before refrigeration, salt was highly valued because of it’s ability to preserve. We are to be a preservative and by our testimony, keep others from spiritual decay.
- Salt flavors and enhancing taste. Give your children unsalted crackers, pretzels, or some other food that they are used to eating with salt. What do they think of the taste? Is it better with salt? Why? Do we live in such a way, that others want what we have?
- Salt purifies. What kind of life do we live? Is our desire to follow Christ and be pure and holy in our actions?
- Salt melts ice. In Colossians we read that our speech is to be gracious and seasoned with salt. Do we melt someone’s anger because of our own gracious response that is seasoned with salt?
- Salt is cleansing. Again, how do we live our lives?
- Salt adds value. At one time salt was payment for a job. Do we add value to those we meet?
- Salt sealed convenants. One of the verses a covenant of salt is 2 Chronicles 13:5 –Ought you not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? Salt is a sign of friendship and unbroken promises.
- Salt is useful and is in the makeup of many products. How useful are we to a messed-up world? What can we do to be more useful?
- Salt creates thirst. Do we make others spiritually thirsty by the way we live?
- Salt is necessary for life. Without salt, we would physically die. Without the message of Christ that we have to share, people will spiritually die.
A good activity for older kids (either in a classroom or personal kids) is to have them research salt and then ask them what they think the Lord meant when He said to be salt of the earth.
(Like the first part of the verse, there is debate about the last part of the verse. Maybe the Lord was talking about the Dead Sea. That salt isn’t usable and is different from salt that preserves. Or, maybe it was a rhetorical question that was common at the time, because salt can’t lose its saltiness.)