In the midst of his farewell speeches to the Children of Israel, Moses charges them to “take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day” (Deuteronomy 6:6). Though he says he is commanding them to keep the instructions “this day,” the commandments had actually been given thirty-eight years prior. Rashi, the great Bible commentator, therefore explains that this expression indicates that we must always look at the teachings of the Bible as if they are new and exciting; as if they were given today. We should never feel that the Bible is outdated or that the laws are relics of the past. Rather, new lessons of growth and inspiration which are relevant to our contemporary lives can always be found in the Bible, if we merely look for them.
This idea is true not only of the Five Books of Moses but the rest of the Hebrew Bible as well. The Sages teach that the Children of Israel had thousands of prophets. In fact, they say that there were so many that the number of prophets was double the number of people who left Egypt. Given that there were 600,000 men who left Egypt, that is a lot of prophets!
If that is the case, why are there only 24 books of the Bible and not thousands? The answer, according to the Sages, is that only the prophecies that were needed for future generations were recorded. The ones that were applicable or relevant only in the time in which they were given were not recorded.
The implication of this statement is that everything that is contained within the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible are still relevant to our lives even though they were written long ago. Our job is to find the relevance of every part of the Bible, and the application to our lives, even today.