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9. The Bible's Big Story

25 lesson plans for children, young people and their teachers.

Lesson 9 God gives the Law

Bible reference – Exodus 19 and 20. Remember this important summary:

  • God wants His chosen people

  • to live in His appointed place, and

  • to live by the rules (commands) that He has set down for living.

This happened once, at the beginning of history in Genesis 1 and 2. It will be true of heaven at the end of time, Revelation 21 and 22. All the way through human history God is calling out a group of people, from among the whole population of the world, to be His own. We saw last time how God led His people out of Egypt to be on their own in the desert and to worship Him. In Exodus chapter 13 verse 17 to 22 we read that God provided a pillar of cloud and fire to lead the people by day and by night. He also provided a dry path through the sea for them to escape from their enemies. This results in God’s people really giving Him praise from their hearts! (Genesis chapter 15 verses 1-21) God can always be trusted to finish what He has started. Stop and discuss (1) From Exodus chapter 14 work out these missing words: 1. the king of Egypt changed his m 2. Israel was camped by the R S 3. The Egyptian army p Israel. (This word means they ‘chased’ after them). 4. Moses held his h over the sea. 5. The Lord drove the sea back with a strong w . 6. Israel went through the sea on d g . 7. The following Egyptian army were c by the returning w . (This means that they all drowned). All of this happened so that God would be honoured, and known by the Egyptians and the Israelites, Exodus 14 verse 4. Now, as God provides daily food and water for this great crowd of people in the desert, they arrive at Mount Sinai. At the top of the mountain, God says again that He is calling these people to belong to Him, Exodus 19 verses 4-6. Have a good reader, or three good readers, carefully read the verses to the class. Stop and learn (2) The people respond to God’s call on their lives. Can you learn the nine words they said? From Exodus 19 verse 8: “We will do everything that the Lord has said”.


Make pairs with the person next to you, and test each other to see if you can remember these words that God’s people promised.

Use your fingers and a thumb to count the nine words. Perhaps some people can repeat them to the whole class? To obey God, His people must know what He wants them to do. The next chapters of the Bible give ‘the Ten Commandments’ and an explanation of how God wants His people to live their everyday lives. ‘The Ten Commandments’ are a short summary of our duty in life towards God and towards one another, if we choose to be God’s people.

Stop and discuss (3) From Exodus 20 verses 1-17 list in your own words the ‘Laws for Life’ that God gave to His special people: 1. verse 3 2. verses 4,5 3. verse 7 4. verse 8 5. verse 12 6. verse 13 7. verse 14 8. verse 15 9. verse 16 10. verse 17 These ‘Ten Words from God’ were first spoken by God from the cloud- covered Mount Sinai, where all the people heard them. Later, they were twice written by the finger of God on flat stones, Exodus 31 verse18; 32 verses 15-16; and 34 verses 1 and 28. If God’s people are going to follow God’s way for their lives – here it is! The way comes from our Father in heaven. We learn to follow many useful ways and traditions from our human fathers. We like it when our fathers can be proud of us! God’s people will also aim to please God by the way they live. It is this that makes them different from other people around. The Law of God demands perfection. Psalm 19 verses 7-12 show the great value of the Law. But no-one can keep the Law perfectly! Why would God give a Law that nobody could live up to? Why is the Law worth more than gold to the poor man? Or honey to the hungry man? The answer is that this Law goes beyond the physical things of this world like money and food. The Law shows all people that everyone ever born is a sinner – a Law-breaker – in the sight of Holy God. Galatians 3 verse 19, “The Law was to show what wrongdoing is.” Moses went up the mountain to receive the commandments from God. He came down to bring them back to the people. And we know what the people promised. He went up the mountain again to receive more commands, Exodus 19 verse 20 to chapter 31 verse 18. In chapter 32 God sends him down again – because most of the people had changed their minds and were already breaking the first and second of the Ten Commandments.


Stop and discuss (4) Ask the class:‘can anyone remember what the second

Commandment was?’

Ask someone to read Exodus 32 verses 1-2 to the class.

When we do what we want and not what God wants we are saying that what we want is more important to us than what God wants. This is a way of showing we choose to worship ourselves and not to worship only God .

Trying to keep God’s Law is like trying to jump across a river, but landing in the water just too short. Or it is like trying to climb up a tall tree, but falling off before reaching the top. God has given His commands for life to His people – to show that not one person is good enough to keep it!

Stop and discuss (5)

1. Can anyone tell the class what the nine words we learned from Exodus chapter 19 verse 8 were?

Have a good reader (or five could read one verse each) read Exodus 32 verses 15-19, and ask the class to listen carefully, because you are going to ask them one last question for today:

2. When Moses did finally come down from the mountain, and he saw what the people were doing, what happened to the stones with the Ten Commandments written on to them?

The Laws were broken. God gave them. His people received them. But they chose not to obey them. Sadly, this is what often happens. We shall see this in the next lessons from the history of Israel. We may see it in our own hearts and lives as well.

Answers to ‘Stop and discuss’


1. mind, verse 5

2. Red Sea, verse9

3. pursued, verses 8 and 9

4. held, verse 21

5. wind, verse 21

6. dry ground, verse 22

7. covered … waters, verse 28

3. these are in MY own words: yours may be a little different!

1. worship only the one true God

2. do not make or worship idols to represent God

3. do not use God’s name badly

4. keep one day in seven holy for worshipping God

5. honour your parents

6. do not plan to kill anyone unlawfully

7. do not have sex except with your husband or wife

8. do not take what is not yours without permission

9. do not charge or blame a person wrongly

10. do not be jealous of what other people have

4. Do not make or worship idols to represent God.

5. Moses threw them to the ground and they broke.


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