It is a Biblical phrase. It was spoken by Jesus talking about His followers.
(Matthew 5:13 KJV) 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 foot of men.This would not have been spoken today. Today we are taught that salt is the bad guy. It gives us high blood pressure and ruins our health. So we are told. But what is that you say? It doesn’t raise everyone’s blood pressure? Salt is necessary for life? Really?
Maybe Jesus wasn’t so far off base. Salt is necessary for life. If you don’t get enough you will die. What He was saying is that if the world does not get enough godly people, it will die.
Historically salt had two main functions. The first was as a preservative. The ancient world did not have refrigeration or canning. They could dry some foods. Others were preserved by salting. With enough salt the food would not rot. The application is that if there are enough of God’s people in a society it will be preserved. Remember the discussion between God and Lot. If Lot could have found just a few righteous people in Sodom the city would have been spared. Jesus is saying the same to His followers.
The second use was flavoring. In spite of what the health food people tell us, popcorn tastes better with salt. Sure you can get used to it, but why? Salt makes things taste better. As a kid I used to put salt on watermelon. Who thought that up? I have had people tell me a little salt on my ground coffee will make the brew better. God’s people are to bring a savor to the world that it would not have.
So get salty. Help preserve your world. Help flavor your world. And remember that too many righteous people in a town can really get people’s blood pressure up.
homo unius libri