For many people, even Christians, the Old Testament — especially the “rules” sections can be an intimidating or confusing thing. It doesn’t have to be.
In fact, if you have a few basic starting premises, they don’t have to be back-breaking shackles of rules at all. Didn’t Jesus promise that His burden is light? Right. With the right understanding, they can helpful and useful to you as guides along your way to let you know when you’re veering into a ditch. A little like the white paint on the shoulder of the road, or rumble strips to wake you out of slumber.
Christianity Today has an article “Learning to Love Leviticus” that outlines a few ways to make that paradigm switch.
From the article:
“How commands can function in relationships and communication. If I hear someone on the street shout, “Freeze! Put your hands behind your head!” I need to know two things. First, who is shouting? If it’s a police officer—someone whose authorized command I need to submit to—then yes. Second, is he addressing me? Likely the answer is no. It’s addressed to the guy who just robbed a street vendor and is running away. So the command has authority because of who gave it, but it is not addressed to me in that moment. It claims my respect—I should not break the law in that way either—but it does not claim my compliance.”
Within the article:
“Old Testament Law, why is it there?”
“Old Testament Law, what’s in it?”
“Why don’t we keep all the laws?”
“How do we find the principles?”
“What would Jesus and Paul say?”