** This is an excerpt from Adult Coloring Bible Study: Exodus. The entire 6- week study is available on Amazon. Bible Stories from the Heart workbooks are perfect for new Christians!
Step One: Read Exodus chapters 18- 20
Exodus 20: 1- 17 (NKJV)
The Ten Commandments
1 And God spoke all these words, saying: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. 7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. 12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. 13 You shall not murder. 14 You shall not commit adultery. 15 You shall not steal. 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
Thoughts from Leslie
Chapter 20 begins with Moses receiving the Ten Commandments. Moses climbs to the top of Mt. Sinai. It is here that he meets with God Himself. God gives Moses two stone tablets - each containing Commandments written by GOD'S OWN HAND! This is AMAZING! God Himself wrote the Commandments down for His children to read! God's own hand writing only takes place four times in the Bible:
In His Own Hand
A look at the four times God wrote in His own hand.
Law: Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20: 1-17) Judgment: King Belshazzar feast, handwriting on the wall. Daniel 5 Forgiveness: Accusation of the adulteress, Jesus writes on the ground. (John 8: 111) Life: The Book of Life, writes the names. (Revelation 17:8; 20:12,15; 21:27; 22:19; Exodus 32:32-33; Psalms 69:28; Psalms 87:6; Daniel 12:1; Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3)
These stone tablets were kind of like "Israel's Constitution" authored by the Lord Himself! God had led His children out of captivity. The Israelites were about to become a GREAT nation. God Himself was their "government" - He was using the two stone tablets to establish the grounds on which His new nation would be built!
As you continue reading about these very important words of God, you might find yourself bothered by something - the word commandments. It sounds so negative and harsh. It surely DOES NOT sound very loving. It makes us visualize a very strict, UNLOVING dictator. That is not what we want to visualize! As you study and pray, realize this - the Commandments aren't HARSH RESTRICTIONS - they are RELATIONSHIP STEPS! We know that God is LOVE. We also know that everything God does is out of LOVE! The Ten Commandments are one more example of how much God truly LOVES us!
Our Bible was not always contained in one leather-bound book. At one time it only existed written on various ancient scrolls. They were translated and compiled into the Bible of today. The scrolls containing the first five books of the Bible are called the Torah.
In the original wording, the word "commandments" is not mentioned. They were originally called either Aseret ha-D'varim or Aseret ha-Dibrot. The words d'varim and dibrot come from the Hebrew root Dalet-Beit-Reish, meaning word, speak or thing. In the Bible’s original wording "the Ten Commandments" are more accurately translated as the Ten Sayings, the Ten Statements, or even the Ten Things, but not as The Ten Commandments.
Knowing this should help us to see God’s love in these verses even deeper. The Ten "Statements" ALL centered on RELATIONSHIPS.
Judaism teaches that the first tablet, containing the first five declarations, identifies duties regarding our relationship with God, while the second tablet, contains five declarations which identify duties regarding our relationship with other people.
Think about what a person needs in order to be truly happy, and read them again in short form:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me. 2. You shall not make idols. 3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. 4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 5. Honor your father and your mother. 6. You shall not murder. 7. You shall not commit adultery. 8. You shall not steal. 9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 10. You shall not covet.
Connection to Us
What do these ten statements have to do with LOVE? They all deal with having healthy relationships, which lead us to happiness! God is in essence providing each one of us with ten ways of HOW TO FIND HAPPINESS in our lives here on earth.
We all YEARN to be loved. In order to be LOVED - we need to be LOVING ourselves! God demonstrates His love to each one of His children. If we want to be more loving, then we must learn from the LOVE GURU Himself, God!!
To be truly happy, we must have healthy relationships. We must be satisfied with what we have. We must have goals to reach for. We must continue learning and growing. We must take care of ourselves both mentally and physically. And, most importantly we must realize we are a part of something BIGGER!
We are relational beings. God created us to connect with each other. He knows that developing and maintaining LOVING relationships is where TRUE HAPPINESS and LOVE comes from; with HIM and with other people.
The Ten Commandments SHOW us how to have a relationship FIRST with God and THEN with our fellow man. Both types of relationships are important! BOTH are centered on common ideas: trust, honor, and faithfulness! When you seek a LOVE relationship with another person don't you NEED those three things (trust, honor, faithfulness)?
God is helping us "weed out" the people who cannot provide us "healthy" relationships. He is giving us guidelines not only for us to follow but also to USE.
Lesson Six Discussion Questions
1. What is the best relationship that you were ever a part of? What made it so wonderful?
2. Do you think respect is important in a loving relationship? Why or why not?
3. If a person does not honor and respect God, do you really think they will honor and respect you?
4. What would you consider a "healthy" relationship? What are some basic truths that it is built on? If someone you love broke one of the 10 commandments against YOU - would your relationship with that person suffer?
5. Is there anything in this life that brings you more happiness than LOVING relationships?
6. Is there sin in your life (a commandment that you are breaking) that is keeping you from having a loving relationship?
7. What insights did you learn about God and His commandments from this lesson?
8. What is your big “takeaway” from this week?