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God’s Law and God’s People

Advent 2020: December 10
God’s Law and God’s People Hero Image God’s Law and God’s People Hero Image

“And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall learn them and be careful to do them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our fathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. The Lord spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire, while I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord. For you were afraid because of the fire, and you did not go up into the mountain. He said:

“‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

“‘You shall have no other gods before me.

“‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“‘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.

“‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

“‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

“‘You shall not murder.

“‘And you shall not commit adultery.

“‘And you shall not steal.

“‘And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

“‘And you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’

“‘These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.” (Deuteronomy 5:1-22)


God continued to show His power and love towards the Israelites when He rescued them out of slavery in Egypt. God miraculously split the Red Sea so that His people could go to the land that He had promised to give them. Even though there were challenges, the Israelites knew that because God is faithful, all His promises would come true.

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, God led them to Mt. Sinai. Moses went up the mountain to learn how the Israelites should live as God’s people. When Moses came down, he gathered the people of Israel together to tell them what the Lord had told him. God gave His people these laws so that they could make wise choices, living in a way that both honored Him and cared for others.

God wanted the Israelites to know Him, love Him, and live in relationship with Him. He chose the Israelites to be His people so they could show the world who He is—and, through Jesus, provide all people a way to Him.

Although the Law set the Israelites apart as God’s people, it also showed that they were still imperfect and needed God’s help and rescue. It was impossible for them to keep those commands perfectly. But one day, God was going to send His Son to be the only one who perfectly kept all of the Law, making a way for us to draw near to God.

  1. Why do loving parents give their children rules? Why is it helpful for us to (albeit imperfectly) follow our heavenly Father’s commands?
  2. What are some of the ways in which you have failed to keep God’s commands?
  3. Why is it important that Jesus perfectly kept all of God’s commands?
Family Activity:

Because of His love for His people, God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments. Draw a picture of the stone tablets on today’s ornament. Talk about some of the rules each person has to follow. Read Deuteronomy 6:5 and pray that God would help your family follow God’s greatest command to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.