April 5 – Jesse Tree – The 10 Commandments

Read Exodus 19:1-20:21

“And God spoke all these words: ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’” Genesis 20:1, 2

God wanted to make an impression on the people when He gave the 10 Commandments. He used visual effects…lightning, a thick cloud, fire, and smoke. He made loud sounds like thunder claps and trumpet blasts. This would be a day that they would long remember.

And then, He gave the commandments. There are some that describe how people should relate to Him. Give Him first place in your life. Don’t worship objects made by man. Use His name in an honoring way. Be sure to take time for rest and refreshment. Commandments like these were to define how we honor God.

Meanwhile, there were other commandments that tell people how to treat one another. Treat your parents with honor. Don’t kill others. Be faithful if you are married. Don’t take things that belong to other people. Don’t lie about others. Be careful not to be jealous. These directions from God help us to know how He wants us to treat others.

These commandments are like a target for us to aim at. But the Bible also tells us that none of us hits the target of perfection that God has drawn. Instead, all of us have sinned (Rom. 3:23). Maybe you value your favorite possession more than you value Him. Or perhaps, you jealously wish you had something that someone else has. Regardless of what it is, all of us miss the target.

The 10 Commandments remind us that we aren’t perfect…and they remind us that we need help. The help we need is offered to us through Jesus. When He died on the cross, He took the punishment for our imperfection. If you believe that He died for your sin, you receive God’s forgiveness.

Questions and Activities:

  1. What are the two different kinds of commandments God gave?
  2. Is there a commandment that you seem to break more often than the others? Are you willing to share what it is?

Steve Kern

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