Story 18: The Ten Commandments

Story 18

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:1-18; Deuteronomy 5:6-29



The Bridge: God desired to separate for Himself a people (Exodus 3:3-6). God reminded His people that “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Deuteronomy 5:6). Out of love for them, God gave standards and directions that they were to follow so that they could live as He desired and so that He could bless them. God said, “Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever” (Deuteronomy 5:29).


The Story:

  • On the occasion of the giving of His Laws, the Lord called Moses to go up on a mountain (Exodus 19:3, 20). Joshua, his helper, went part of the way with Moses. In the midst of smoke, lightning and thunder, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-18).
  • In the first four laws God taught His people how to relate to Him. They were to have (1) no gods but God, (2) no graven images, and (3) not use God’s name in vain. To be reminded of these things, they were to (4) keep the Sabbath day holy (Exodus 20:1-11).
  • The last six laws showed His people how to relate to one another: (5) honor your parents, (6) don’t murder, (7) don’t commit adultery, (8) don’t steal, (9) don’t lie, (10) don’t covet (Exodus 20:12-18).
  • God also gave Moses additional ordinances and cautions along with the beginnings of a worship system (Exodus 21:1-23:33). When Moses told the people about God’s commandments and ordinances, they replied, “All the words which the LORD has spoken we will do!” (Exodus 24:3). By obeying these laws, they showed that they were God’s people.
  • Later the Lord again called Moses up on the mountain in order to give him the stone tablets on which He wrote the law and commands. “Now the LORD said to Moses, ‘Come up to Me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandment which I have written for their instruction'” (Exodus 24:12).


Note: For insight into the application of the Ten Commandments to life, see Exodus 21:1-23:33.


How do the Ten Commandments relate to our need to trust in Jesus?