How important is the Old Testament to us?

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As I am reading more and more in the Old Testament I am beginning to wonder how relevant and important it is to us today. Some of the things I am reading are a bit scary and frightening when you think about how God dealed with those who sinned. It is certainly very different to how it is today.

Reading about Moses and the Israelites, and what happened to them, makes my point above. Heavenly Father dealed with the children of Israel harshly, after Moses went to the mount to get the 10 commandments, they quickly forgot about the Lord and started to worship idols. I am saddened by their actions and wonder how anyone could forget that fast what Heavenly Father had done for them. After all, He had saved their lives. The punishment they received afterwards though, threw me off. I knew the story for a long time, but I didn’t remember that Israelites were killed because of their actions.

After Moses rebuked the children of Israel, the Lord told him to ask everyone whether or not they wanted to follow the Lord and those who didn’t were killed. I wasn’t exactly angry about it, but I did feel that was unfair and a bit too drastic for my taste. What if those unbelievers would have decided at one point in the future to repent and change? I talked to my husband about it and he agreed with me that things seemed harsh around that time. I asked him why the Lord didn’t just send them away and banned them from the group. He reminded me that the Israelites were out in the middle of nowhere with nothing around. There was no other place for them to go. He said something had to happen because Heavenly Father didn’t want those unbelievers dragging more and more people with them. He said maybe it is best to have them killed quickly with no further suffering rather them sending them off in the wilderness perishing slowly.

I have to admit I am still a bit taken back by it, but I also know that everything happens for a reason. I trust that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing and what my husband said to me certainly makes sense if you think about it logically. If there was a way to have them send away He would have I am sure, after all that’s what the Lord did to Satan and his followers. They were banned. I think this is just one of those things that I won’t understand until the next life, but I know I will understand it at one point.

I am very grateful that we have the scriptures and that we can learn about the prophets and people of old, even though we might not understand why things were that way at their time. I might struggle with some of the things I read, but I get so much out of it and learn so many great things that are definitely valuable in our days. Heavenly Father loves us and He wants what is best for us.

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