Week of January 9 - God Gave the Ten Commandments

As the rescued people of Israel traveled toward the promised land, God met with Moses at Mount Sinai and made a covenant with the Israelites. We refer to this covenant as the Mosaic covenant. God promised five things in this covenant: 1) Israel will be God’s own possession; 2) Israel will be God’s kingdom of priests; 3) Israel will be a holy nation; 4) God will defend Israel from her enemies; and 5) God will be gracious, merciful, and forgiving to Israel.

Unlike His covenant with Abraham, God’s covenant with Israel was conditional: “Carefully follow every command I am giving you” (Deut. 8:1). “Be careful that you don’t forget the LORD your God by failing to keep his commands” (Deut. 8:11). “If you ever forget the LORD your God … you will certainly perish.” (Deut. 8:19). Isn’t it interesting how remembering God and obeying Him are so closely linked? You spend the most time thinking about that which you most care about. What occupies the most space in your mind? If we aren’t thinking about God, we aren’t loving Him. And if we aren’t loving Him, we aren’t obeying Him.
We can group the Ten Commandments into two categories: The first four deal with a person’s relationship with God (love God), and the last six deal with a person’s relationship with others (love others). These laws encompassed every part of the Israelites’ lives and showed what righteous living looks like.

Some people think of the Ten Commandments as a burden, but God’s rules are good and are meant to help us. The Bible is clear that we are all sinful and fall short of God’s standard for holiness. Why should we seek to obey God? Consider Jesus’ words: “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15).

Read the Ten Commandments with Jesus in mind. Our obedience cannot earn us God’s favor, and our disobedience does not separate us from Him. God is pleased with us because He looks at Jesus, who never sinned.

Because of Christ, we have a right relationship with God. He gives us power through the Holy Spirit to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37,39).

This is the big idea of how this week’s Bible story points to Jesus.

  • Younger Preschool: God’s rules are good, but people cannot obey them perfectly. Only Jesus obeyed God perfectly. We can trust Him to forgive our sin.
  • Older Preschool: God gave us rules to show that He is holy. Sin keeps us away from God, but Jesus came to bring us back to Him. Jesus never sinned. We can trust Him to forgive our sin.
  • Kids: God’s law shows us what He requires. Our sin separates us from a holy God, but Jesus came to bring us back to God. When we trust in Jesus, He takes away our sin and gives us His perfect righteousness.

This is an important biblical truth that your child will encounter each week of this unit.

  • Younger Preschool: What is worship? Worship is singing, praying, and listening to God.
  • Older Preschool: What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.
  • Kids: What is worship? Worship is celebrating the greatness of God.

This is a Bible verse that relates to what your child will encounter each week of this unit.

  • Younger Preschool: Let’s worship God. — Psalm 95:6
  • Older Preschool: Come, let’s bow down and worship him. Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us.  — Psalm 95:6
  • Kids: Come, let’s bow down and worship him. Let’s kneel before the Lord who made us. He is our God. And we are the people he takes care of and the sheep that he tends.  — Psalm 95:6-7
Thank God for the Bible that shows us what it means to be righteous. Praise Him for showing us how we can receive the righteousness of Jesus when we trust in Him. What does the Bible say about our ability to obey God? What did God do to bring us into a right relationship with Him?
Think through your day and take a moment to confess the ways you disobeyed God’s commandments or failed to love Him or others. Thank God for Jesus, who took the punishment of sin and credits His perfect life to all those who trust in Him.
Play a game of “Red Light, Green Light.” Players move toward you when you call “Green Light,” but must freeze immediately when you call “Red Light.” If any player moves when you call “Red Light,” the player is out of the game. Play a few rounds while increasing the frequency of commands to make the game increasingly difficult. Try to make it so no one can perfectly follow the calls to move. Discuss how hard it is to follow God’s rules perfectly. Then talk about how Jesus kept all God’s commandments perfectly on our behalf and how we are saved by grace—not by following rules.
Use a poster board to write out the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:1-17. Over a 10-day period, study one commandment each day. Discuss how the commandment might help a person to love God, love others, or both. Talk with your kids about the ways we might disobey the commandment and how the commandment points us to Jesus as the only perfectly righteous One.
Supplies: poster board, marker

The Gospel Project is a weekly Bible study that helps kids dive deep into the big story of the Bible—God’s plan to rescue His people through His Son, Jesus Christ. Your child can access free Gospel Project learning games and activities in the LifeWay Kids app reader available in the iTunes or Google Play stores.