God made the old law of Moses with Israel to bring mankind to Christ. Jesus completely fulfilled the old law and took it out of our way when He died and nailed it to his cross (Matt. 5:17, Col. 2:14). While we are now under the New Testament of Christ and no longer bound by the old law, there are many aspects and precepts of God’s nature contained in the old testament that are invaluable to our learning and understanding of God’s Word to mankind (Rom. 15:4, I Cor. 10:11). When God led the children of Israel through the Red Sea and out of their bondage in Egypt (Exodus 14) He gave them specific instructions and commandments to follow. While Moses was on the mountain, they promptly disobeyed God, fashioned a golden calf to worship, and did their own thing. God retaliated by vowing they would never enter the promised land. They then wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until that generation was dead and were never allowed to enter the promised land. Even Moses disobeyed God’s direct command to speak to the rock, to get water for the people and their animals (Numb. 20:8-11). Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses chose to strike the rock twice. God did give the people water, but as a result, Moses was only allowed to view the promised land from afar, while never being allowed to enter. God means what He says.
Another perfect example of this is what happened to Uzzah when king David was having him transport the ark of the covenant by ox cart. The oxen that pulled the cart stumbled and shook the ark. Uzzah put his hand on the ark to steady it. This seemingly innocent action angered God greatly and He smote Uzzah there and he died by the ark (II Sam.6:5-7). While this drastic action may seem like way too much to us, there was good reason God was so angered. First of all the ark was not supposed to be moved except by God’s authorized method. Specifically, the ark was to be carried by gold-covered poles inserted through gold rings on the ark’s four corners, even then, only on the shoulders of the priests (Exodus 25:13-14-15). No one was allowed to touch the ark after it was completed (Num. 4:5-6). There was a lot wrong with how the ark was being transported as well as touching it. God means what He says.