I inherited a route that is more than unruly. In driver parlance, I received a ‘party bus.’
The primary reason is probably that the retiring driver has been ill and many subs have bounced through the bus while admin steps were taken for the benefit of the driver, but the result is a group of undisciplined children in need of direction and love.
These first two weeks have been very challenging with me vacillating between ‘going drill sergeant’ on them and cajoling/complimenting as necessary to elicit the correct responses.
So, last night I was lying in bed discussing the latest adventures with my wife when it hit me! “I need to salt the threshold!”
She immediately knew what I was talking about as I exited the bed in search of a salt shaker to take to work.
Now, before you think I have completely lost my marbles, stay with me for some practical application of Scripture.
Earlier this week we read in Leviticus 2:13,
Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.
Salt of the covenant? Until a year ago, that phrase would have left me scratching my head, but not now! I understand covenants and live covenantally. Details on exactly what I did in a minute. First, some quick background.
Salt is mentioned multiple places in Scripture and almost always in connection with covenant! In ancient times, salt was considered a substitute for blood in a covenant ceremony. (Think: saline solution.) Bread with salt, shared between two parties, was the equivalent of and as binding as a blood covenant. Salt on the threshold had the same authority as blood on the threshold and invoked a major protective covenant. (The threshold is significant! See 1 Samuel 5, especially verse 4!)
We can find myriad evidence, both Scripturally and anthropologically, though a lack of cultural (Hebraic) context prevents us from deeper understanding. Examples are well complied in H.Clay Trumbull’s books, The Salt Covenant, The Threshold Covenant and The Blood Covenant. (Friends and fellow pilgrims, Ernest and Teresa Cannon, did an EXCELLENT teaching series here on some of the covenants during Sukkot, 2013.)
Once we understand what it means to be grafted into Israel, we become partakers of the covenantS. Ephesians 2:11-13 says,
Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, [a]excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off [b]have been brought near [c]by the blood of Christ.
That covenant with Abraham? Yep, by the blood of Messiah I am brought near and given the rights to it! What does it say? Well, there are several applicable parts, given at different times, but I want to focus on a particular aspect of covenant:
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”
When we enter into covenant with someone, they are obligated, as long as we are faithful to the covenant, to use all their resources for protection. Abram, on behalf of himself and his progeny, entered into covenant with the Living One! Notice in 15:1 that Abram’s covenant was with ‘the word of the Lord,’ the Memra, or, Yeshua. (Read Was Jesus on Mt. Sinai? Does it Matter?) Targum Onkelos specifically translates 15:6 as,
And he believed in the Word of the Lord, (Memra da Yeya,) and He reckoned it to him unto justification.
Now, I understand these things and the power of covenant. To be clear, this is meaningless to you or me unless,
- We are IN covenant with the Living God, AND
- We are walking in obedience to the terms of the covenant.
- (Warning: Disobedience to the terms of the covenant invokes curses…)
That was a crash course and it is missing a huge pile of detail and evidence, but for brevity, I move on.
So, what does this mean for my bus and what did I do?
That bus is my ‘territory,’ responsibility, etc. It is under my authority.
So, last night, as I spoke with my wife, I realized the primary problem with the discipline on my bus is spiritual. Recognizing the influences and culture as well as many family challenges in the homes, I know that many carry spiritual ‘burdens’ that enjoy creating havoc.
This morning, after cranking my bus, I walked to the back and poured some salt in my hand then began walking toward the front sprinkling it about as I prayed, “Father, I ask YOU to cleanse and protect this bus. I call on You to remove whatever darkness is here and place your Presence of Shalom in our midst. I pray against any dark forces that bring disorder and confusion. … etc…”
Once at the front of the bus I salted my seat, representing my authority, as well as prayed over and salted the threshold of the bus. (Everyone has to cross the threshold and it is representative of coming under my covenantal protection.) I also ate a little of the salt, representing my participation, through Messiah in the salt covenant. I declared that the bus belonged to the Living God and that all who entered would have to submit to His authority and be held under His peace and protection.
I finished my pre-trip inspections/walk around and prepared to depart.
You know what happened? Nothing!
No wild behavior. No radical disobedience or misbehavior, as exhibited in the previous eight days.
In truth, a radical peace was on the bus this morning with me making very few calm corrections.
The afternoon run was very similar in that it was predictably a little louder (lots of pent up energy), but students stayed in their seats and I had only a few issues to address.
Was I surprised? No. I’ve done this before. Many months ago, having just learned of the Salt Covenant, I knew of a confrontation coming with someone that had occult leanings. Prior to their arrival at the place of meeting, I salted the threshold and prayed a covenantal hedge of protection.
Our meeting was peaceful and clear… until we wandered outside, as they were leaving. Once out of the building that I had ‘salted,’ the countenance of this person flipped like a light switch and they came ‘unglued’ with ZERO provocation. It literally happened as we passed through the doorway. Whatever/whoever was traveling with them had apparently not entered the door, but was waiting outside! I kid you, NOT!
Understand, this is not mystical, or somehow ‘outlandish.’ This is deeply Biblical and demonstrates one connection between the physical and spiritual. I believe the spiritual world sees the salt AS blood and they understand something about which most Bible readers (me included until 18 months ago) have no clue!
Will this magically solve everything on the bus? No. The enemy won’t give up that easily, but, it was amazing to see this radical transformation with no other impetus.