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The Ten Commandments

Moses receiving the Ten Commandments


God gave us rules of how we should treat and respect Him and other people.

Bible Text:

Exodus 19, 20 and 32.



After the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea they went into the wilderness.  This was like a dry desert and there were only certain places where they could find water, but there was no food.  And so the people had to trust the Lord to provide them with food and water.

The time had also come where it was necessary for them to know what was right, and what was wrong, in what they did and said.  And so God gave them His Law.  That is, He gave them rules as to how they should behave themselves as proper servants of His, and how they should treat and respect God and one another.

Everything is Moses' Fault!

However, before this, they had some very hard experiences.  Whenever things didn't go the way that suited the Israelites, they blamed Moses for it!  Like when they came to a place where the water was bitter, they immediately went and complained to Moses.  God told Moses how to make the water sweet, and this made the Israelites happy for awhile.  But, they soon forgot that it was God who had brought them out of Egypt, and that He was taking care of them!

They had brought some food with them from Egypt, but soon that food was gone, and again they blamed Moses.  But Moses found out from God what to do.  And God caused food to drop right down out of the sky!  The Israelites called it manna, and it was little white flakes that tasted sweet like honey.  They had to gather the manna every day, as it wouldn't keep for two days, except at the end of the week.  Then they could gather enough for two days, and it would last them over the Sabbath.

At Mount Sinai:

In the third month after the children of Israel came out from Egypt, they came to Mount Sinai and camped in front of the mountain.  And God told Moses, "Go to the people and make them holy and let their clothing be washed.   For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai."  Moses was to warn the people that any person or animal that touched the mountain was to be put to death.

When morning came on the third day, there was thunder and flames and a thick cloud covered the mountain.  A ram's horn sounded and all the people shook with fear.  But Moses made the people come out of their tents and assemble at the foot of the mountain.

The Ten Commandments:

Moses then climbed up the mountain and God gave him the Ten Commandments:

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.

  2. You shall not make for yourselves an idol.

  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

  5. Honour your father and your mother.

  6. You shall not murder anyone.

  7. You shall not commit adultery (sleep with another person's wife or husband).

  8. You shall not steal.

  9. You shall not give false testimony (evidence) against your neighbour.

  10. You shall not covet (long to possess something that belongs to someone else).

God sent Moses up the mountain so that he could receive the Ten Commandments.  Up to now, there were no laws that the people had to follow, so God felt they needed rules on how His people were to love Him and treat others.  The first four commandments tell us how to respect God, and the last six tell us how to treat other people.  The commandments given to Moses are still needed today, especially in the times we live in.

God's Standard:

But who can say you are not guilty of breaking some of these Commandments?  (Let the children respond).  One day a girl was watching a lamb and thought how white it looked against the grass background.   But when it began to snow she exclaimed, "But how dirty it looks against the white snow!"  It was the same lamb, but with a different background.

It's the same when we compare ourselves to our human standards.  We look pretty clean, but when we compare ourselves to the snow-white righteousness of God's standards, we see that we are unclean in His sight.  All of us have sinned, and only Jesus can forgive us and cleanse us from all our sin and wrong doings, and make us pure in God's sight.  In Isaiah 1:18, God said:

"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."

Pleasing God:

Do you respect, honour and obey your parents in a way that's pleasing to God?  And are you kind, respectful and care for other people?  Many in the world use Jesus' and God's name as a swear word, but we should never follow their example.  God wants us to tell the truth at all times.  We should never desire and wish we could take something that belongs to another person and never steal anything.

How do you treat God?  As children that serve God, you should love Him and put Him first in your life.  In Jeremiah 31:33, God said:

"I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be My people."

This means that God puts into our heart the way that we should respect and treat Him and other people.  And because God writes it on our hearts, we will want to please Him in all we do and say!

God bless.


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