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In Bible days, this baby-sitter was usually one of the household slaves. He was given charge of his master’s sons from the time they were about 6 or 7 until they were considered adults, at about 16 or 17 years of age. & It was his job to make sure those boys got to school. It was his job to teach the boys to obey and discipline them when they didn’t. He carried a rod, which he used on the boys every time they got out of line.

It reminds me of a baby-sitter I had when I was a child. Now, most baby-sitters are nice. To a kid, that means you can get away with anything. You can have all the cookies you want. You can go to bed as late as you want, and you don’t have to clean up your toys. When my brother and sister and I were good, we got that kind of baby-sitter – usually a high school student from down the street.

But when we were misbehaving, my parents always threatened us with a “mean” baby-sitter. Her name was Mrs. Redkay. Now, with a name like that, we were sure she was a secret KGB agent; and, boy, did she make us behave. We could have only two cookies, and they had to be eaten at the table. She made us pick up our toys and sent us to bed early, even though we weren’t tired. I never saw it, but I was sure she had a big stick somewhere to clobber us if we ever misbehaved.

That, my friends, is the law. It is a mean, strict baby-sitter, which threatens us with punishment every time we misbehave.

But the good news is we believers are no longer under such a baby-sitter. We who have put our faith in Christ are no longer under the law.

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