God started fulfilling the promise to Abraham by giving him a child named Isaac. Isaac’s son was Jacob, later called Israel. Jacob fathered Joseph, whom God sent to Egypt where he became second in power only to pharaoh. Through circumstances under God’s control, the entire family later moved to Egypt, where this family of 12 brothers grew in number. After they had been there 430 years, God realized that this large crowd of descendants of Abraham did not have the same heart as Abraham. They had strayed away from the pure heart of their forefathers. God said He would establish a law—an outside force—that would serve until the inside force (Christ in one’s heart) was established. If God had not imposed an outside force, they might not have made it until Jesus came. The Apostle Paul wrote, “What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (meaning Christ) to whom the promise referred had come.” Galatians 3:19a
The law was a guardian until Christ came and showed us all how to receive the Holy Spirit of God. Likewise—you no longer have to have an outside supervisor telling you everything to eat, drink, and do. You can use your own conscience (the Holy Spirit) and your own heart and hunger and fullness to guide you from within.