Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Look, this city is in a pleasant place, as my Lord [Elisha] sees; but the water is bad and the land is barren.” He said, “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. Then Elisha went to the spring of water and threw the salt in it and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘I [not the salt] have purified and healed these waters; there shall no longer be death or barrenness because of it.’ ” 2 Kings 2:19-21 AMP
We were more than 150 in that gathering of youth corps members praying and worshipping God. It was our Biennial State Conference of Christian Youth corps members. While we prayed, our leader led us to pray for the nation using the above quoted scriptures. She asked us to pray for the healing of our land. As we prayed and petitioned God for our land, I felt a nudging in my spirit to go and read that verse again. The question that rose in my heart was this, “What was the solution that Elijah proffered for the healing of the land?” Then I looked in and I saw it – “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it” Then I understood that if our land was going to be healed as we were praying, then we have a duty to present ourselves to God as new vessels, filled with salt.
This was Elisha’s first public miracle, by which he demonstrated that indeed he had received of the spirit of Elijah. The land was indeed in a pleasant place, just like my nation, Nigeria– sitting on a massive cache of oil and natural wealth. However, the people could not access the basic needs of life without too much stress (the water was bad), and the land was in itself unproductive (it was not yielding commensurate to the efforts being put into it). The people of Jericho got used to this and found a way to be surviving in the midst of such a land. However, when they saw an opportunity to bring healing to the land, they caught on to it. It is important to note that they had faith that the land can indeed be healed and purified, and so the prayers they made were in keeping with their faith.
Elijah told them however, that it is not merely prayers that will bring healing to the land. “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it. All I need to bring healing to your land is a new jar, filled with salt.” Now, what did he do with the jar? He went to the ‘spring’ of the city’s water, and threw the salt in it and prophesied. What does that mean for us today?
In Bible prophecy, waters signify multitude of people, and the spring of the water signifies the rising generation – the generation that are emerging from the depths of the earth. I want to make a statement that is for all the nations of the earth, wherever you are reading this from. There is bitterness in the land, like the bitter waters of Jericho. Everywhere you turn, you see people angry, depressed and ready to take desperate steps because of the situation in the land. From developed nations like the United States of America, to developing nations like Nigeria, and others such as Somalia, Southern Sudan, etc., there is bitterness in the land. The mass of the people is bitter, bad and unproductive.
What is the answer? What is the solution? A new vessel, filled with salt. A new vessel talks about one who have received new life in Christ. It talks about one who have been made anew through faith in Christ Jesus. It talks about you, yes, you. You are the new vessel. You are God’s answer to the bitterness in the Land. But a new vessel is not enough, there must be something which must be placed inside that new vessel – SALT. What’s the big deal about salt? Well, here are a few scripture quotes:
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. Matthew 5:13 KJV
Here, the Lord Jesus himself declares that we are indeed salt to the earth. We are the ones that preserve the nation from utter decay; and we are the ones that will see to it that sweetness is retained in human relationships in this wicked world.
Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. Mark 9:50 KJV
The value of every Christian in society is in his/her ability to be ‘salt’ to this world. You cease to be relevant to your world the moment you cease being salt. Jesus Himself says, “Have salt in yourself, and have peace one with another.”
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6 KJV
This is what it means to have salt in yourself: to be a man of graceful words. It is to be a man who knows how to answer every man, even in the face of oppositions. This is what will change the spate of bitterness in our world today.
Just like the bitter sea resulted in a barren land, bitterness in the heart makes a man unproductive, especially in being able to fulfill the plan of God for his life. This is what Satan has done to many Christians even today – he has placed bitterness in their hearts towards their fellow man. The bitterness could be towards their political leaders, or towards a certain tribe or people group. Whatever the reason, justifiable or not, the truth is that a land becomes barren when the hearts of its people are bitter.
What is the solution? A new vessel, filled with salt. God is looking for Christians who will not join the campaign of bitterness and hatred that is going on in our world today. God is looking for Christians with salt, who will speak with Grace, and speak the truth in love. God is looking for Christians who will not go about stirring hatred and anger because of the situation in their country, but will preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with sincerity, love and simplicity.
And where will you start? Where is your mandate? Don’t worry about the whole waters… don’t worry about all the human beings in your state, region or nation. Go for the spring of the water, the freshest part of the stream. Go for the young! Go for those who are still rising into the world! Cut off this root of bitterness and anger that the elders want to implant in them. Teach them the truth about Jesus and the hope we have in Him alone, and in no distant time, the land will be healed, and there will be productivity, fruitfulness and fulfilment.
If you cannot go, you can pray, you can also sponsor those who are going. But whatever you do will amount to nothing unless you are first of all a new vessel, filled with salt.
I come in peace.