Beside the Well
I’m almost finished with Burroughs’ discourse on the Beatitudes. He has moved to the last few verses. “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under the foot of men.” Matthew 5:13
If you ever get a chance to read this book you will experience times when your heart jumps so high tears fall from your eyes as truth opens your understanding. Let me share some pieces of truth he brought and how it blessed my heart.
The word of God says Christians are the salt of the earth. Burroughs breaks this down into some simple applications.
1. Salt is wisdom. The gospel brings wisdom wherever it comes. It teaches the world how to be wise to salvation, and it raises the thoughts of men.
2. Salt makes things taste better. Before the gospel is applied, men have unsavoury spirits; but when the gospel is received, they become savoury.
3. Christians are the salt of the earth. It is the use of the gospel that keeps the world from perishing by putrefaction. Salt keeps the Christian’s heart wholesome.
Then he moved on to more explanation, and my heart began to feel the pulse of truth.
Leviticus 2:13 “And every oblation of thy meat-offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat-offering; with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt.”
What? So every meat offering had to be salted? Yes. And not only the meat offerings, but also the oil, flour; every sacrifice was to be salted. Then, Mark 9:49-50 instructs the same saying, “Have salt in yourselves.”
All our sacrifices should have salt. “There must be a savoury spirit-that is, savoury unto God, and doth savour the things of God: and then there must be a spirit that is not corrupted or putrefied. Such a one, when he offers up himself to God, is an acceptable sacrifice to him.” (p 245)
Pastor Gritts had just preached on the sacrifices we are to offer God. Putting them in the light of being rendered with salt showed me more about the manner and attitude with which I offer my sacrifices. Is my sacrifice of praise savoury? (Hebrews 13:15) Are my prayers flavored with salt? (Revelation 8:4) Is my giving salted? (Philippians 4:18) Are my good works done with saltiness? (Hebrews 13:16; Ephesians 2:8-10) Am I a living, salted sacrifice? (Romans 12:1)
As those questions whirled in my head, Burroughs hit me with another beautiful truth, “The gospel is the very balsam of nature.” It affects society for the better. It draws men to Christ. It cleans up our speech. It exhorts to a pure life.
Before I could take in the loveliness of that statement, he smacked me with this: Ministers of the gospel must apply salt, and sometimes it must be rubbed in.” I laughed aloud as I pictured the minister rubbing truth into people as one would rub salt into a roast.
But, I got the idea. The gospel is more than a message; it is salt. It is the thing that draws men to Christ, changes society, raises men, and creates hope.
Burroughs closed with this, “Whatever God lets me have in this world, I cannot relish it or savour it without the gospel, and without salt I cannot offer any sacrifice savoury to God. The doctrine of the ministry of the word is as salt to the benefit of nature.”
How salty are you? Are you rubbing it into your life?