Ten Commandments

Did you know...

that God gave Moses a set of rules that tells people how we should live and teaches us right from wrong?

This is the story of the Ten Commandments.

It had been three months since the Israelites left Egypt. They had traveled through the wilderness and now arrived at the foot of Mount Sinai, God’s holy mountain.

Isrealites

Moses climbed the mountain to talk with God.

God reminded Moses of the powers He had shown and said that if the people of Israel obeyed His rules, their nation would be great and holy in God's sight.

Moses mountain

When Moses returned, he told the people of Israel what God had said and that God wanted them to obey Him. The people promised that they would do all that God had said.

He told them to get ready by cleansing themselves, that in three days God would come down on the mountain.  Moses warned them that they nor their animals should not go up or near the holy mountain.

moses

And so it was... on the morning of the third day, there was a powerful thunder and lightning storm, a dense cloud came upon the mountain, and a loud blast from a ram's horn rang out.

God knew that His people needed a plan for living in order to become a great nation.  Laws would guide them in the way they were to worship and treat each other.

God mountain

God called Moses to the top of the mountain where God gave the people of Israel the following commandments:

1.  Put God first. Do not worship any other gods besides me.

2. Worship only God. Do not make idols of any kind and don’t worship them.

3. Use God's name with respect. Do not use the name of the Lord your God in vain.

4. Respect God's day of rest. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

5. Respect your father and mother.

6. Do not kill people.

7. Respect marriage. Be faithful in marriage.

8. Do not steal.

9. Do not lie. Do not testify falsey against your neighbour.

10. Don't be envious. Do not covet your neighbour’s house, wife, servant, or anything else your neighbour owns.

The people of Israel promised to follow God’s commandments.

Then Moses went back to the mountain to speak with God who taught him how the people should do many things. God told Moses how to build an altar and offer a sacrifice, and how to treat Hebrew slaves.  He told them about not hurting other people, stealing, telling lies, and how to have celebration festivals in God’s honor.  God now invited Aaron and some of Israel’s leaders to hear His teachings as well.

When Moses told the Isrealites all that God had taught, they promised that they would do everything that the Lord had told them to do. God and the people of Israel had now made a covenant - God would protect and bless His people and they would obey Him.

Moses mountain

Then God invited Moses back to the mountain so He could teach him some more. Moses stayed on the mountain for forty days and forty nights. When the Lord was finished speaking with Moses, he gave him two stone tablets on which God had written His commandments.

Now, while Moses was up on the mountain, the people of Israel became impatient. They wondered what happened to Moses and if he would ever come back. They went to Aaron and asked him to make a god for them to worship. Aaron collected lots of gold from the people, melted it, and made a shape that looked like a calf (baby cow). The people celebrated and had a festival by feasting and drinking.

Isrealites golden calf

God saw what was going on and sent Moses down the mountain. When Moses came down with the two stone tablets God had given him and saw the calf and people dancing, he became very angry. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.  Then he destroyed the golden calf.

moses commandments

Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin.  You broke the first commandment - You shall have no other gods before me.  I will go to the Lord and try to get Him to forgive you."

God was angry too, and sent a plague on the people who had worshipped the calf.  Moses begged God to forgive them.  God told Moses to cut two tablets of stone like the ones before. God talked to Moses and repeated His covenant, and Moses wrote down everything God said on the tablets. 

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two new tablets, everyone could see that he had been in God's presence because his face glowed so much that he had to wear a veil in front of his face. 

Images are the copyright of Moody Publishers for teaching purposes only, all rights reserved.  Distributed under a license with FreeBibleimages.  
Bible lesson activities

Learning Activity Extensions

Read the story in the Bible: Exodus 19 - 20, 32, 34
Play the games courtesy of akidsheart.com.  Be sure your computer settings allow you to run Flash Player:
Ten Commandments Word Scramble Game 
Place the commandments in the right order on stone tablets.

Colouring pages courtesy of supercoloring.com. Download or colour online:
Moses with the stone tablets

The Ten Commandments

Teaching Kids about Jesus  (3:02 min)

Teaching the Ten Commandments

Use sign languae to reinforce the ten commandments. Courtesy of Deanne - Called to Cultivate  (6:00 min)

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