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Moses and the Ten Commandments

QUESTION: Moses and the Ten Commandments - What is the story?


Moses was the man God chose to lead the Israelites out of Egypt - their place of bondage. During this time, God was preparing the Israelites to receive His laws, which were called the Ten Commandments.

Moses went up to Mount Sinai to hear from God. When he arrived, God sent Moses back to the people to ask if they would follow the Lord and His instructions (Exodus 19:3-8). After Moses asked the people what they would do, he went back and reported this to the Lord (Exodus 19:8).

Next, God had Moses prepare the people. This included washing their clothes and instructing the people not to go to the Mount or its border. The people were told not to try to look or force their way to the Lord, otherwise they would die (Exodus 19:21-25).

Exodus 20:1-21 says, "And God spoke all these words: 'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.' When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, 'Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.' Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.' The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was." Moses and the Ten Commandments is a tremendous story and historically true as is evidenced by archeological digs and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Ten Commandments provided objective truth by which the people of Israel could live. This was to test them to see if they would reverence God.

Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments in Luke 10:27: "…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself."

Learn More About the Ten Commandments!

What do you think?
We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, I want to follow Jesus

I am a follower of Jesus

I still have questions

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