God had rescued His people from the Egyptians. He led them into the desert toward Mount Sinai. The Israelites camped at the base of the mountain while Moses went up the mountain to talk to God. God gave Moses the laws the Israelites were to obey. God renewed the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with the whole nation of Israel. They were His people, and He was their God. (Exodus 19:5-6)
In the first session of Unit 6 of The Gospel Project for Kids, boys and girls will hear about the Ten Commandments. So what were they? What was their purpose?
God wanted perfect obedience in response to His rescuing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. His laws covered every part of their lives, and they were summed up in the Ten Commandments. God did not give laws just for the sake of having laws. His laws revealed to the people what life will be like when Christ establishes His kingdom. They showed how perfectly righteous people live and interact with God and with others.
- Do not have other gods besides Me.
- Do not make an idol for yourself.
- Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- Do not murder.
- Do not commit adultery.
- Do not steal.
- Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- Do not covet your neighbor’s house.
Just ten. It would be easy enough to keep just ten rules, right? The Israelites proved they could not keep a single one of God’s laws. Their hearts were full of sin. Moses mediated for the Israelites, asking God to forgive the people’s sin. Moses was a good mediator, but he wasn’t perfect. The Israelites needed someone who could keep the laws perfectly for them, mediate between them and God, and satisfy God’s wrath against them. They needed Jesus.
We are the same way. You might be thinking, I’ve never ended someone’s life. The Bible says that everyone who hates his brother is a murderer. (1 John 3:15) Have you been faithful to your spouse? Jesus said that anyone who lusts after another commits adultery in his heart. (Matt. 5:28) In fact, “whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all” (James 2:10).
Seeing God’s righteous requirement makes us aware of how short we fall. If disobeying God subjects us to His judgement, what hope do we have? People often think of children as being pure, in need of protection. But the kids you teach have sinful hearts. They cannot obey God perfectly, and they need a Savior. They are guilty and need to be redeemed.
Point kids to Jesus and help them understand that God is pleased with us because He looks at Jesus, who never sinned. Christ took the punishment we deserve, and He is our Mediator before a holy God. When we are in Christ, we have a right relationship with God.