Reading the Bible, especially the Old Testament, can be confusing. Sometimes, we forget the Bible is a story with a beginning and a hopeful ending. The Bible is worth reading because it is God’s words to us about what God is really like. I know my wife without her letters explaining herself, but her words can give me deeper insights. Keep in mind though Jesus when leaving this earth didn’t promise to leave us the Bible but His spirit to remember Him (Jn. 14:26). God’s spirit within each individual is more valuable than others’ biblical interpretations.
If one dares to read the OT, it is easy to be totally confused about the “law” stuff. If I want to have a relationship with someone, which God did with us, I am not sure I would introduce myself through laws. Yet, I did the same thing as a parent. In the beginning of the relationship my children weren’t ready to necessarily talk about my eventual dreams – being friends. Can you see their eyes rolling! God didn’t load down Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel, with a bunch of laws but it was necessary in the beginning with a nation full of individuals.
A parent knows fully well a list of does and don’t is not the pathway to a friendship. Parents understand stressing the importance of obedience is necessary for a child’s own good, but these conversations are meant to lead to something greater. A parent doesn’t in the beginning require obedience before they will love their child. God has never demanded adherence to any laws before establishing a relationship. God just loves us like parents love their children at birth.
We can forget that the Bible is not just a bunch of chapters and verses but a story about God and relationships with those God created. Many passages hint as to why God begin the relationship with laws. Laws help to make us conscious of our sins (Rm. 3:20). Really, the Law is only necessary for lawbreakers and not for those who treat others like they want to be treated (I Tim. 1:9). God perhaps made so much of the laws in the OT as it was the best place to start in a relationship to lead to the eventual knowledge God wanted us to know. I can’t obey even the laws clearly in my best interest. Such failures reveal my need for God’s help and guidance.
God or any parent in the beginning of a relationship somehow seeks to reveal a desire for a friendship and why such a relationship can be in their best interest in the long-run. Such knowledge and understanding often can only come from experiences. Rules in the beginning of a relationship can help lead to the intimacy so badly desired. God felt laws could best lead to the eventual goal. The next time you read the OT and are in the midst of a bunch of confusing laws, don’t think of God as overbearing and complicated but think of God as a parent giving a child what they need to hopefully lead to a shared, joyful relationship.