Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Trusting God’s Word: The Ten Commandments - Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)

Theme: Trusting God’s Word: The Ten Commandments
Scripture Reference: Exodus 20:1-21  
Memory Verse: John 14:23
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Children will learn about the Ten Commandments God gave to his people long ago through Moses. 
Today and during the month of March, we will begin a study entitled Trusting God’s Word. We will study various people and stories from the Old Testament that teach us how we can always trust God to do what he says. Today’s story is about God giving the Ten Commandments to Moses who in turn gave them to God’s people. Since they came from God, we can trust them to be important for us too. When we obey them, God will be happy, and he will bless us in return. 

(Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say.” John 14:23 NLT

Icebreaker Questions: 
How important is it for you to listen to and obey God’s Word? Why do you think so? 

Who can name some of the Ten Commandments? Do you think they are still important? 

Is it sometimes difficult for you to obey God? Why do you think this is true? 

Bible Story Time: 

Reflection: What’s one thing God says to do that’s hard for you to do? Why?

We have already studied about how God delivered his people from Egyptian slavery. Soon after leaving Egypt, they encountered the Red Sea. As they looked behind them, they could see the armies of Pharaoh chasing them. After he let them go, he changed his mind. What was he thinking, freeing all his slaves? Once again, God protected his people by causing a strong wind to blow. When it did, it parted the waters of the Red Sea and dried up the riverbed allowing them to walk across on dry ground. When the last person had crossed, God instructed the walls of water to fall but not before Pharaoh and his army had entered the riverbed. When the walls of water came crashing down, the Egyptians were drowned. 

Exactly two months after they left Egypt, God’s people came to the wilderness of Sinai and to a mountain named Sinai. God knew his people needed some rules to live by. He told Moses to come to the top of the mountain, and he would give them to him. God wrote the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone and gave them to Moses to give to the people. If they obeyed, God would bless and protect them from their enemies, but if they disobeyed, God would punish them and hand them over to their enemies again. 

Reflection: Why do you think God gives us rules to obey? Why can’t we just do what we want to do? What would happen if everyone did?

God’s rules are given to protect us. He knows if we obey what he tells us to, we will act as he wants us to. We will give a good picture of God to others when we obey his commands. He wants us to be holy in our actions and thoughts. When we obey God, others will notice, and this may help them to come to know God as we do. 

Let’s learn the Ten Commandments:

1. Do not worship any other gods. The Egyptians worshiped many gods. Worshiping the God of the Israelites wasn’t a problem. They just added him to the list of all the other gods they worshiped. God doesn’t want to compete with other gods because there are no other gods. He is the only one. 

Reflection: What are some other gods we can worship? How do we do it?

2. Do not make idols of any kind. Long ago—and still in some countries today, people built idols they thought looked like the god they worshiped. God warned his people not to make any images that they thought looked like him. 

Reflection: Can you think of idols people might make today?

3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.  God’s name is a picture of what the Bible tells us he is like. He is a holy God and worthy of our worship. 

Reflection: What are some ways we can misuse God’s name? 

4. Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. In this time, the Sabbath was Saturday. Most Christians today don’t go to church on Saturday but on Sunday. The reason we go to church on Sunday is because Sunday is the day Jesus rose from the grave. We worship on Sunday to celebrate this. God knew we needed at least one day in the week to set aside for worshiping him and also for our bodies to rest from work. 

Reflection: What are some things we should and shouldn’t do on Sunday?

5. Honor your father and mother. At another place in the Bible, we are told to obey our parents. Once we become an adult, we don’t have to obey our parents anymore, but we should always honor them because they are our parents. This means being kind to them, and, if they are Christians, following their example. 

Reflection: What are some ways you can honor your parents? What about after you leave home?

6. Do not murder. Since God created people in his image, people are important and special to him. Killing someone shows that a person doesn’t have respect for one of God’s creations. 

7. Do not commit adultery. God wants men and women to marry before they start having children. 

8. Do not steal. God wants us to work to buy the things we want and need in life, not steal them from other people. Stealing is also a crime, so doing this can mean a person has to spend time in prison. 

Reflection: Has someone every stolen something from you? How did it make you feel?

9. Do not testify falsely. This commandment means we should not lie. We should always tell the truth. When people lie to us, we can’t trust them. When we lie to others, they won’t trust us. 

Reflection: Has anyone ever lied to you? How did it make you feel? How does it make others feel if you lie to them?

10. Do not covet. This isn’t simply wanting something someone else has. It’s wanting it so badly that we would steal it from them or that we get mad at them for having it when we can’t. 

Reflection: Have you ever been jealous over what someone else has that you don’t? What did you do?

The Ten Commandments are our rules for living. Ask God to help you obey them each day. 

Activity Time:
(This was completed in a previous lesson. The following has been modified to complement the current lesson on obedience.)

Love-in-Action Poster

Write the following header at the top of a large piece of poster paper: “To Love Means to Obey.” (Reference the week’s memory verse.) Have each child place one foot on the poster board and trace the outline of their foot. Teachers may have to assist them. Make sure footprints go across the paper. 

Explain to the children that the footprints represent someone doing exactly as they are asked. Remind them the Bible says if they love God, they will obey His commandments. Explain that when they obey God, their parents, and their teachers, it shows they love them.

Remind your kids of one or two recent incidents when they obeyed you. Add one or two heart stickers (or draw heart shapes on the paper) to reward these examples of obedience. Hang the poster in a prominent location where future hearts can be added.

Added for current lesson:
Help children write the Ten Commandments on the footsteps on the poster. Let them tell which ones they have obeyed over the past week. 

God helped the people to obey what he commanded them to do. He’ll do the same for you. 


Activity Time:
Let children color the picture of Moses and the Ten Commandments and the Ten Commandment Word Search

Wrap Up:
Let each child tell one thing they learned from the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. 


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