The Ten Commandments – Exodus 19 - 20

This passage may be one of the most misused passages of Scripture – even by well-meaning believers today. The Ten Commandments are sometimes hailed as a list of the ways to get God’s approval or the rule book for Christian living. However, Gal. 3:23-24 says that the Law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. The original word for “schoolmaster” referred to the Greek slave whose job was to walk children to school. The Law is intended to “walk us” to Christ because it shows us our need for a Savior. In other words, the Law isn’t intended to show us HOW to live; it is intended to show us that we CAN’T live the way God wants us to.

If we realize what God means by each of the Ten Commandments, we will see how far short we fall of God’s standard. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus points out some of the ways we misunderstand the commandments. In Matthew 5:22, Jesus points out that those who are angry with others are as guilty of breaking the Law as those who commit murder. In Matthew 5:28, He says that anyone who looks lustfully at another has committed adultery in his/her heart. It is essential that kids understand the heart of each command, that they see in each command the picture of an awesomely holy God, and that they embrace how far short we fall. 

When they see the commands as God intends, they will see their desperate need for a Savior, and they will be ready to hear about Jesus. His grace tastes so sweet when we see our utter desperation and need. May God equip us to portray God’s standard accurately and to show children in need of grace the way to the Savior!



  • Activity Tangram Puzzles – Give kids a set of tangrams and ask them to use their pieces to create the picture you show them. You may start easy and get harder if you wish, but don’t let kids get too frustrated. Explain that God gave us the Ten Commandments as a pattern we need to copy. The Ten Commandments are intended to teach us what God is like. God wants us to see how good and wonderful He is. He wants us to see that we can’t be like Him. He wants us to see that we need a Savior.

DISCUSS THE STORY (some possible answers in italics)

What did you like about this passage?

What didn’t you like about this passage?

What do you learn about God from this passage? 

- Our God is perfectly good.

- Our God cares about fairness.

- Our God is just.

- God wants people to be kind to each other.

- God deserves to be worshipped. He is the only One worthy of worship.

- God wants people to keep their promises.

- God wants people to trust Him to provide their needs.

What do you learn about people from this passage?

- People may be selfish.

- People may take advantage of each other.

- People may use their mouths to bring harm.

- People often trust in things that will fail them.


What do you learn about yourself from this story?

- I want to be holy like God is, but I can’t.

- I was born a slave to sin.

- I desperately need a Savior.