Harsh Words in Order to Save

Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them.
GENESIS 42:7
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Harsh Words in Order to Save
Joseph deals rather harshly with his brothers. It is his purpose to urge them on to repentance and the acknowledgment of their sinfulness, to slay their smugness and drive them to despair by threatening death and punishments of every kind. . .. He wants to arouse grief and contrition and to induce them to seek health and cleansing for themselves. Thus God afflicts us with various disasters, not to punish us, although this really is a punishment. But He takes no pleasure in it. What, then, does He mean by sending so many troubles, vexations, sicknesses, etc.? He does this in order that you may be led to a knowledge of your sin. He knows that you cannot make satisfaction, and He does not return evil in accordance with our merits; for we deserve nothing else than death and hell. But the sin that clings to our nature is hidden from our eyes, and He brings it to light. . .. Indeed, we must even fall most horribly, in order that we may recognize our wretchedness and weakness. Thus David fell in a horrible manner on account of his smugness and pride, in order that he might learn what sin is and be able to say from the heart: 'Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned" (cf. Psalm 51:4).
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