A People Learning to Live with God and Each Other
I. Taking some TIME to OBSERVE. (v.1-17)
A. NOTICE who is SPEAKING. (v.1)
B. GROUNDED in RELATIONSHIP with YAHWEH. (v.2)
C. The LIST has a STRUCTURE. (v.3-17)
D. Ten “WORDS”, not just a set of LAWS. (v.3-17; Ex. 34:28)
Without a doubt, this is probably one of the most well known (and maybe least read) sections of the Bible. Before we dig in to what God is saying and trying to do through this passage, let’s step back to notice a few important things about the text that may shape how we read, understand, and apply it.
1. Kid’s Question: What is an idol? Do we have idols today?
2. What stands out to you about the structure of the 10 commandments? Were there other things you observed about the text that were interesting or surprising?
II. Three WORDS around KNOWING God. (v.3-7)
A. He is the ONE and ONLY. (v.3)
B. The temptation to SHAPE and CONTROL. (v.4-6; Ps. 115:2-8)
C. Less about PROFANITY, more about MISAPPROPRIATION. (v.7; Ecc. 5:1-2)
The first three commands (words) are all about God. This is a bold piece of revelation where God tells the people what they need to do to live in a relationship of wholeness with Him. They provide deep wisdom for how we are to live as followers of Jesus today.
3. Jeff stressed that idols are one way we try to take control over our own lives, making God into something that we want Him to be. What are idols that you see in your own life?
4. What might it look like to “take the Lord’s name in vain” in today’s world? How can we know if we might be doing that?
III. Six WORDS about our INTERACTIONS. (v.12-17)
A. The IMPORTANCE of our RELATIONSHIPS. (v.12,14,16; Mt. 5:23-24)
B. The VALUE placed on LIFE. (v.13; Jn 3:16)
C. The PROPER view of POSSESSIONS. (v.15,17; Mt. 6:33)
The last 6 commands (words) have to do with how we live with each other. This section is basic and clear, and gives wisdom for navigating relationships with other human beings, both those we know well and love, and those with whom we share the planet.
5. What stands out to you about the importance God places on interpersonal relationships? Where might you need to grow in that area?
6. How would you assess your own life in regards to the importance of possessions? What might “have you” instead of you “having it”?
IV. HEARING these WORDS today… (James 1:22)
A. This is more about IDENTITY than REGULATION. (v.2,8-11; Jer. 31:33)
B. An OBEDIENCE that flows out of RELATIONSHIP. (v.2; Rom. 1:5)
C. Life CENTRED around love for God and NEIGHBOUR. (v.3-7,12-17; Mk.12:29-31)
It is helpful to remember the larger picture of what God is doing through these interactions in Exodus. He’s not merely transplanting people from one place to another, He is shaping them to be different…to be His people. These ten “words” are often seen as merely rules or laws that we keep to make God happy. But their purpose runs far deeper than that.
7. What does it mean to live out an “obedience that comes from faith”? What do you use in your own life to seek to motivate obedience?
8. How would your life change this week if your top two priorities were to love God with all that you are and then to loves others as you love yourself?