The Old Testament’s initial audience is relevant to both the past and the present. Surely back then, the Jews were in need of hope and guidance even after all God had done for them. The same can be said to be true for us today. Believers tend to worry to the absolute maximum when times are difficult seemingly forgetting that not only have they struggles before, but God delivered for them time and time again.
The Old Testament itself is both a profile of God and a profile of man. Look at how many years man wandered through the desert turning to God and turning from God. The stories of God calling the least likely to perform His will for their lives and the lives of their people are testaments themselves to God’s ongoing mercies and plan. From David conquering Goliath to Daniel being delivered from the lion’s den, each story in the Old Testament demonstrates a different attribute of God.
If God’s existence is ongoing without ceasing, and His existence precedes the creation of the universe, then God’s attributes not only stay consistent, but they MUST stay consistent. Because God is the same, ongoing consistent being, He does not change and cannot change. If God were to change, He would contradict Himself and cease to exist.
An all knowing omnipotent God has no logical reason to change.
What does it all mean in relation to the Old Testament?
The Old Testament is still telling of God as he exists today (in our understanding of time). In effect, each story demonstrates to us who God is, not who He was in a historical sense. If God is ongoing, therefore, His actions are ongoing as well. That is, they lead into each other into His one plan. For God to act randomly at any time during His plan is inconsistent with His plan and nature. God is incapable of performing an action that has no point and no purpose. Regardless of how man uses God’s actions, God’s intention through them is pure and just.
Therefore, the stories of the Old Testament give man a great insight into who God is. Historically, it gives us a picture of the persecution faced by the Jews. It also shows us where empires formed and how they were conquered or how the Jews fled their persecutors. It also helps to paint a geographical picture of what the world and civilizations looked like back then.
To sum all of this up: The Old Testament is part of history for man, but part of a plan by God.