Why do we still read and study the Old Testament? After all, we don't follow the Old Testament Law.
The primary reason is that the Law given to Israel at Sinai forms a very small part of the 39 books which comprise the Old Testament.
All scripture is given by God for a purpose.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The Old Testament describes creation and the fall of man. Thus we learn why we sin and die. It tells us what happens when we die. It contains prophecy, the fulfilling of which gives us confidence that it is the word of God. It describes God’s dealing with mankind, the flood, the saving of Noah and his family, the choosing of Abraham and the promises made to him of an eternal inheritance on the earth. It describes how Abraham’s seed grew into the nation of Israel.
It describes God’s purpose with the earth.
Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Numbers 14:21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD
It contains God’s promise of a redeemer who would save his people from sin and death. It contains end-time prophecies – Daniel 2 and Isaiah 2for example. Ezekiel 38 – 48 foretells the final overturning and restoration of Israel as the kingdom of God.
The Old Testament describes God’s promises to David concerning the king who would establish his kingdom forever.
Referred to by Gabriel:
Luke 1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.
Without the background of the Old Testament it would be difficult to understand the New. This is made clear by the number of times the Old Testament is referred to by the New Testament writers.
Luke 24:25 Then He said to them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
John 5:47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?
God’s dealings with different characters in the Old Testament are written for our admonition, so that we might learn from their triumphs and mistakes.
Romans 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
The people to whom the apostles preached were expected to check the Gospel being preached against the Old Testament, to verify it.
Acts 17:11 These (Bereans) were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures [the Old Testament] daily to find out whether these things were so.
May I suggest that you read: Your Share in God’s Promises [Please click on the title].
I hope this helps.
If you have further questions, please ask.