The Law Is a Custodian

"Let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me."
GENESIS 42:19-20
The Law Is a Custodian
Joseph loves his brothers most tenderly. He wishes them no evil. Nevertheless, he treats them most cruelly and allows them to run the risk of death. They themselves behaved in a far crueler manner toward Joseph; for they were planning to kill him. . .. Here, however, Joseph thinks only of their life and welfare, although he lets something else be seen. . .. Thus God gave the Law to reveal sin and to work wrath (Romans 4:15). Therefore it is a discipline and a rod, or, as Paul says, "our custodian" (Galatians 3:24), without whom the flesh does not understand sin. Thus a pupil whom his teacher spares will never make progress but will remain a stump and a log, for without the discipline or chastisement of the teacher he has no knowledge or understanding of his stupidity and his evil plight. Therefore knowledge of sin is necessary, although it alone is not sufficient. . .. This is the measure and goal of all punishments and vexations, just as parents chastise their children in order that they may be corrected and return to the way. . .. In this manner the example of Joseph should be applied to the kingdom of Christ, who punishes, not to cast off or disinherit but to preserve the inheritance which He has acquired for us with His blood.
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