When reading some of the Old Testament laws, it's easy to get distracted and think, "and how does this apply to me?" What's important to remember is that the laws God set forth were unprecedented during this time period. Life was cheap, and it wasn't uncommon to take someone else's life. Women were disregarded and disrespected. Slavery was the norm. But God raised the bar for all relationships and challenged the Israelites to live differently than the other cultures around them. He called for a new level of respect where people are honored because they are a part of His creation.
These laws may not all have direct application for us today, but they do challenge us to think about how much we honor other people. Do we go the extra mile to correct what we have done wrong? Do we respect people of all genders and of all races? Do we take responsibility for our actions? All of these are the marks of those who follow God. The Golden Rule existed long before it was recorded in Matthew. God established this rule of law out of respect and love for the people He had created.