Where the Old Testament Books Fit In
The Old Testament Books are often overlooked by many Christians and those learning about Christianity.
Although they are often overlooked, they can provide you with some amazing information and help validate your Christian faith. Here are a few things to consider about the Old Testament.
If you're reading this now, I assume you were born in the modern era and not several thousand years ago. Therefore, there should be no confusion about what covenant you fall under with God. When Jesus came to earth, died for our sins and rose from the grave, we entered into a new covenant with God. This put to bed the old covenant that was set forth with God involving the Ten Commandments and sacrifices. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice to atone for all of our sins, if we accept His gift.
Because of this, rules in the Old Testament were fulfilled with Jesus. You no longer live by the same rules that they had back then. You can eat pork and other "unclean" things. You don't have to abide by all the very specific rules in Numbers and Deutoronomy that were for the Israelites in that specific generation. So does that mean we should just disregard the Old Testament books and focus only on the New Testament? Not exactly.
One of the important functions of the Old Testament is to validate what you believe as a Christian. This is done through the vast number of prophecies that were written down in the Old Testament thousands of years before Jesus was born. Then when you combine those prophecies with what was recorded in the New Testament, you see that Jesus fulfilled every one of them. There are over 200 prophecies about Jesus and the Old Testament. Some of them are general prophecies while others are very specific. For example, one says that He would be pierced in the side and that not a bone in His body would be broken. These two properties are interesting because they are very rare for someone who died on a cross. They usually broke their legs to finish them off, but that didn't happen with Jesus.
I could go on and on talking about prophecies in the Old Testament, but you can do that research on your own if you want to know more specifics. The point is...the Old Testament helps prove that Jesus is the Son of God. With so many different writers of the Bible spread out over thousands of years, the central message of the Bible is the same, without any contradictions.
Another reason that I think we should study the OT is for inspiration. Many of the stories in this part of the Bible are extremely inspirational and help me all the time. From this part of the Bible we hear about heroes like David taking on the giant Goliath with nothing more than a sling (and the all-powerful God, of course).
We hear about how God freed the Israelites from Egyptian slavery by using a man who was already 80 years old (Moses). Many of the stories talk about how God uses the underdog to get the job done. It's pretty awesome stuff that can still help you in your daily walk.
And of course, you've always got Psalms and Proverbs to check out. They are a constant source of knowledge and inspiration for me.
So should you just get one of those New Testament Bibles that the Gideons pass out and call it good? Of course not. I would recommend checking out the Bible in its entirety. God didn't say it if it wasn't important.