Way to Life-Lesson 7 - leader's copy
God’s Laws are Good
¨ As a child what were some of the rules our parents made for you?
¨ Which rule did you like to break? J
¨ Are you glad that your parents made rules for you when you were a child?
The Israelites (later known as Jews) were God’s special people in ancient history—long before Jesus came to Earth. God initiated a special relationship with their ancestor, Abraham. His interactions with the nation that came from Abraham’s son, Isaac, were to be a microcosm of His desire for relationship with all people. Today’s lesson is taken from one of those interactions between God and the nation of Israel.
Let’s Read Exodus 20:1-17
“Egypt” (20:2) – The Israelites were on a journey to a land that God had promised them. The Pharaohs of Egypt had enslaved the nation of Israel for the past 400 years.
An “idol” (20:4) is an image of a god made of wood or metal.
The “Sabbath” (20:8) was the last day of the week for the Israelites.
To “covet” (20:17) is to desire to have that which belongs to someone else.
1. Can you find any significance in the ordering of the commandments?
Help students bring out the order: 1-4 focus on God, 5-10 focus on interpersonal relationships.
After they see the order significance, direct conversation toward love.
2. Do you see any logic in the order of the final five commandments?
The fifth commandment, about honoring parents, is the transitional one. It is like honoring God, as well as honoring neighbor. The sixth command is the first purely social one, and we find it to be the most serious on a descending scale: murder, adultery, stealing, lying, and coveting.
3. Which commandment presents the greatest challenge to you?
Looking at what Jesus had to say
Jesus, as an Israelite, was trained in the law as a child. When he taught, he often would talk about the law.
Let’s Read Matthew 22:34-40
The “Sadducees” (22:34) were a religious sect, just like the Pharisees. They were often of the priest class, as opposed to the merchant class of the Pharisees. They differed in their opinions about God’s law with the Pharisees, but were even more united in their opposition of Jesus.
The “Law and the Prophets” (22:40) was a way of saying “all of the Scriptures. At this point in history, this would refer to what is now known as the Old Testament.
1. What do you think loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind, means?
2. Give an example of what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.
3. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone truly loved their neighbor as themselves? (feel free to write out a list is that helps you)
4. Do you think such a world is possible? Why or why not?
Try to be very specific here. Don’t give a “Jesus changed my life” testimony. Talk about one specific relationship that was affected by Christ, or something along those lines.
Answer one of the following questions:
q How has loving God and obeying His commands changed your world?
q How has Jesus made you a better person?
q Why is relationship with God something worth having?
(just when you thought you had finished your homework for the week)
Now is your chance to practice your English skills. Look at each commandment. Rewrite the commandment to be a positive statement.
ex. [negative statement] You shall not eat the chocolate ice cream before you finish your dinner.
[positive statement] Eat a healthy and well balanced diet.
I. You shall have no other gods before me.
I will be your God.
II. You shall not make for yourself an idol…
I will be the absolute focus of your love and allegiance.
III. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God…
You will revere my name.
IV. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
You will trust in my provision and demonstrate your love for me by taking a day out of every week to rest and focus on our relationship.
V. Honor your father and your mother.
You will honor your parents.
VI. You shall not murder.
You will value life.
VII. You shall not commit adultery.
You will value the sanctity of the marriage vows.
VIII. You shall not steal.
You will work for the good of others.
IX. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
You will use truth to edify and serve others.
X. You shall not covet…
You will be happy with what you have and with what others have.
Now take a second look at the commandments.
v In your opinion, do these commandments have value?
v Are there any that you think unnecessary? Why?
v What commandment would you add to the list?