The Giving of the Ten Commandments

Scripture Passage: 
Exodus 19:1-25; Exodus 20:1-21

INTRODUCTION: God has brought the children of Israel out of Egypt and now He wants to make them His special people by giving them the covenant of the law. They have the promise of Abraham which will never be taken away. However, God wants to have a relationship of obedience and blessing by which they serve Him because of love and He makes them a special people on the face of the earth.

  1. GOD’S PROPOSAL (Exodus 19:1-8)
    1. Their Arrival in Sinai (Exodus 19:1-2)
      1. In the third month (Exodus 19:1)
      2. Israel camped before the mount (Exodus 19:2).
    2. God’s Care for Israel (Exodus 19:3-4)
      1. He battled their enemies (Exodus 19:4).
      2. He bare them on eagles’ wings (Exodus 19:4).
      3. He brought them to Himself (Exodus 19:4).
    3. God’s Offer of Priesthood (Exodus 19:5-6)
      1. The condition (Exodus 19:5)
        1. If ye will obey my voice
        2. If ye will keep my covenant
      2. The contract (Exodus 19:5-6)
        1. To be a peculiar people above all people (Exodus 19:5)
        2. To be a kingdom of priests unto God (Exodus 19:6)
        3. To be a holy nation unto the Lord (Exodus 19:6)
    4. The People Accept the Offer (Exodus 19:7-8).
      1. The people promise to obey.
      2. Moses takes their words to the Lord.
  2. THEIR PREPARATION (Exodus 19:9-15)
    1. The Lord to Come in a Thick Cloud (Exodus 19:9; 1 Kings 8:12; Psalm 97:2)
    2. The People to Sanctify Themselves (Exodus 19:10-11)
    3. The People to Keep Back from the Mount (Exodus 19:12-13)
    4. The People Prepared for the Lord (Exodus 19:14-15)
  3. GOD’S PRESENCE (Exodus 19:16-25)
    1. The Coming of the Lord Announced (Exodus 19:16-19; Hebrews 12:18-21)
    2. The People Prevented from Approaching the Mount (Exodus 19:20-23)
    3. Moses Returns to the People (Exodus 19:24-25).
  4. TEN PRECEPTS: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (Exodus 20:1-17)
    1. Introductory Notes
      1. They are called the “ten commandments” because God calls them that (Exodus 34:28; Deuteronomy 4:13; Deuteronomy 10:4).
      2. They are considered to be the foundation of the moral part of the Mosaic law; the following division is not strictly scriptural and is, therefore, not a perfect way but only a practical way to look at the law.
        1. Moral Law – deals with moral right and wrong
        2. Civil Law – deals with social relationships
        3. Ceremonial Law – deals with sacrifices, feasts, etc.
      3. The ten commandments are easy to divide into two sections:
        1. Man’s relationship to God (first four commandments)
        2. Man’s relationship to man (last six commandments)
    2. Man’s Relationship to God (Exodus 20:1-11)
      1. No other gods (Exodus 20:1-3; 1 John 5:21)
      2. No graven image (Exodus 20:4-6; Acts 17:29; Romans 1:23)
      3. Not to take God’s name in vain (Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 24:10-16)
      4. Remember the sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11).
        1. The sabbath was a special gift to Israel (Exodus 31:12-17).
        2. It is the only one of the ten not repeated in the New Testament.
        3. Christ has become our sabbath; our rest (Matthew 11:28-30).
        4. We are not to enforce sabbath-keeping (Colossians 2:16-17).
    3. Man’s Relationship to Man (Exodus 20:12-17)
      1. To honor your parents (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3)
      2. Not to kill (Exodus 20:13; cp. 1 John 3:15 with Leviticus 19:17)
      3. Not to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:27-28)
      4. Not to steal (Exodus 20:15; Titus 2:9-10)
      5. Not to bear false witness (Exodus 20:16; Ephesians 4:25)
      6. Not to covet (Exodus 20:17; Romans 7:7; Colossians 3:5; Hebrews 13:5)
  5. THEIR PARTING (Exodus 20:18-21)
    1. The Removal of the People (Exodus 20:18)
    2. The Request of the People (Exodus 20:19)
      1. The people request that God not speak directly to them any more, but that He speak only through His servant Moses. Yet, God had offered to make them a “kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6) if they would only obey Him.
      2. A priest is one who mediates between God and man, but when God spoke directly to them, they did not want to hear Him.
      3. Although God calls them a holy nation and His peculiar people in other passages (Exodus 19:5-6; Deuteronomy 14:2; Leviticus 20:26), He never again mentions their priesthood as an Old Testament reality.
      4. It seems that they willingly gave up their chance to be priests under the law.
      5. However, the future fulfillment of the New Covenant will bring them back into a priestly relationship with the Lord.
      6. Under the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34), they will not need to teach and be taught to know the Lord because all of them will know Him. That is, they will have a direct, or priestly, relationship with God.
    3. The Assurance of the People (Exodus 20:20)
      1. Notice the use of the word fear in this verse. They are told to fear not. Then, they are told that God spoke to them like this so that His fear would be before their faces. They are to fear and to fear not at the same time. This clearly demonstrates that there are two different aspects of fear in the Bible.
      2. The first fear is the fear that brings panic; that causes them to run from the Lord. They are not to fear God in this way. He is not the enemy of His people and often tells us to fear not (Genesis 15:1; Isaiah 35:4).
      3. The second fear is properly known as “the fear of the Lord.” This fear is defined in the scripture as that which causes us to depart from evil and keep the commandments of the Lord (Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13). In this fear, we fear the results of disobeying the Lord but we do not fear the presence of the Lord.
    4. The Return of Moses to the Mount (Exodus 20:21)

CONCLUSION: After God saves you, He wants to bring you into a special relationship of love with Himself. As Christians, we are complete in Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:10). However, God still wants us to obey Him and love Him with all our heart. Are you obeying God because you love Him? Do you fellowship with Him?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 23:2

And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.