An increasing number of Christians have dismissed the Old Testament as irrelevant. Some in their dismissal have said it represents a cruel God, not the God of compassion. Those dismissals are very dangerous assumptions. As Scripture tells us our God does not change, “For I, the Lord, do not change” (Malachi 3:6). Only the way of salvation offered in Jesus and expressed in the New Testament has changed. Jesus did once and for all time what the sacrifice of animals could never accomplish. Jesus the One who is that new way, quoted the Old Testament scripture without qualification.
The Old Testament has great value in many ways. One of those ways is being used as a template to lay over the historical interpretation of human nature, the leadership of nations, and how people interact with each other. We can use the Old Testament template to interpret the present and forecast the future. By laying that template over any point in time we can predict what will take place because it has happened repeatedly in history.
When we are seeking to understand the behavior of people, nations, and their rulers, and what will be the outcome of their choices, the Old Testament is of great value when it is applied as a template to any time in history. It will reveal to us what will transpire because human nature has not changed over time, and neither have the consequences people and nations will suffer because they turned away from God. It is in that unchanging human nature that we bring the Gospel message – a message that offers the only kind of change that will last.