March 17: Leviticus 25 | Psalm 135-136 | Luke 8
Reading 1 - Lev 25:23-27
"The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land. If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold. If, however, a man has no one to redeem it for him but he himself prospers and acquires sufficient means to redeem it, he is to determine the value for the years since he sold it and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it; he can then go back to his own property" (Lev 25:23-27).
The Land belongs to God, and individual Israelites never really owned it, though God Himself gave them the exclusive right to it so long as they kept the law. If a man fell into debt, and had to mortgage the land which he had inherited, it became the duty of the nearest of kin to purchase it, so as to retain possession of it in the family. On the year of Jubilee, however, the land which had passed out of the hands of the inheritor was, by divine decree, caused to revert back to him. In that sense the property was treated as being redeemed by God Himself (Lev 25:9,10). In the interim, it was the responsibility of the kinsman (Heb "gaal") to act on behalf of God.
How will this portion of the Law of Moses be fulfilled? In the broadest sense, the Land of Promise may be seen to have passed into the hands of strangers when Israel was taken into captivity. But this same Land will be redeemed by Christ the true "Gaal" (near-kinsman and redeemer) -- the Son in whom the Father has been manifested (Psa 74:2; Isa 52:9) -- when he returns to this earth to claim his inheritance.
Reading 2 - Psa 136
"For his mercy endureth for ever" (Psa 136:1, KJV).
"His love endures forever" (NIV).<