J. G. Bellett.
from Miscellaneous Papers
(R. L. Allan)
The earth is the subject of redemption as well as man. It is already purchased, and by and bye, in due season, it shall be rescued or delivered. That is, it is the subject of the two-fold redemption known in scripture, redemption by price, and redemption by power.
The blood of the cross has already reconciled or purchased it. As we read, "and having made peace by the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things on earth or things in heaven." (Col. 1)
This gives the inheritance the title of "the purchased possession."
But though purchased, it is not yet delivered. It is still under "the bondage of corruption." (Rom. 8) It is redeemed by purchase, but not as yet by power. We therefore wait for the "redemption" of that which is already a "purchased possession."
This bright and happy truth, this mystery found among the mysteries of God, has had its pledges and foreshadowings, as well as others.
The ordinance of the Jubilee seems to set forth this twofold redemption — by price and by power. (See Lev. 25) For that chapter teaches us that at any time during forty-nine years, the alienated possession of an Israelite might have been purchased by the kinsman of the heir, and thus redeemed or brought back to the family to which, under God, it had belonged; but if that were not done, it would return to the heir in the fiftieth year, or the Jubilee, without purchase.
These two ordinances, again, I say, seem to set forth the mystery I am speaking of — redemption by money and redemption by power. The kinsman might redeem with money, the Jubilee would redeem without money, by virtue of its own title, by virtue of that force or authority imparted to it by Him who was the God of Israel and the Lord of the soil.*
*We ourselves wait to be redeemed by power. Resurrection will do that.
Again, Jeremiah the prophet was commanded to purchase the field of Hanameel, his uncle's son. He did so, in the spirit and obedience of faith, though at that moment the Chaldean army was in the land, and was under commission from the Lord to tread it down, and waste it, or possess themselves of it. But when Jeremiah made enquiry respecting this strange thing, that he should be asked to lay out his money upon a piece of land thus devoted to the sword of an invader, the Lord tells him that a day of power was to come, and that in that land there should be redemption, and that the Lord's own people should possess it again, brought back out of the hand of every spoiler. This was the Lord's answer to His servant. And thus Jeremiah had reason to know that the purchase now made by good money of the merchant, should be made good in a coming day of power. (See Jer. 32)
And let me add one other notice of this distinguished case, the purchase of Hanameel's field, for it has interested me. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" is the Lord's challenge of Jeremiah on this occasion, as it is of Sarah in Gen. 18. Sarah did not know how she, whose body was then dead, could have a child, for she knew not the resurrection-strength of God. Jeremiah did not know how he, who was laying out his money on a piece of ground which was then in the hand of the enemy, could get its value back again; for, like Sarah, he knew not the resurrection-strength of God.
That strength makes all simple. The victory of Christ, the resurrection of Jesus, gives us to our inheritance sure rights under the seal of a title-deed easy to be read.