We’re almost done with Moses and I can feel myself getting antsy to move on to other figures because this is such a long unit. But first, a bit of commentary from me.
I don’t want the 10 Commandments lesson to be about……
As I was planning this lesson and looking around at different ideas on the web, I found several “Golden Calf” crafts or ideas surrounding that, and while I can see why you might create those, I didn’t want to. To my mind it put an emphasis on the wrong thing, emphasizing the people disobeying rather than God’s amazing work. So, I chose for my kids not to really emphasize that part, instead concentrating on the 10 Commandments and making a 10 Commandments craft.
First we went through and read the 10 Commandments one at a time, the kids each had 3 of the 10 Commandments, and I had one. After reading each one we stopped and talked about what it meant and what it is ultimately about.
Part 1 of the 10 Commandments: the first 4
As we went through the kids were able to figure out the first four commandments of the 10 commandments are about God. More specifically about how we love God. If the kids were older I would have talked about the order God put them in, why did God put “Put God first” as the first of the 10 Commandments? But, that’s a bit more meta-thinking than I expect from 8 and 6 year olds.
Part 2 of the 10 Commandments: the last 6
The last 6 commandments in the 10 Commandments are about others, how to love others. I had to take a bit of time to explain what adultery is to the kids, I went with a very simplistic definition, adultery is when the husband or wife decides they love someone else more than they love their spouse. They remembered that David had done that once, and were able to draw that parallel, which I thought was a nice bit of memory work on their part.
We got into some fun conversations about the different commandments, I asked questions that were over their heads, and I should have waited, but it’s one I enjoy thinking about. If you read the 9th commandment, it does not say “Do not lie,” instead it says “do not give false testimony.” It’s very specific, so does that mean it is sometimes okay to lie? It gets me thinking, because what about hiding a surprise party from your spouse, you have to lie for that usually. Or a spy? They have to lie to protect others, is that okay?
Okay, so Maryanne asked a great question, that got me wondering, “What does the Hebrew actually say?” So, I dug up my Strong’s Concordance. It’s got all of the words in the Bible listed alphabetically, then it gives a number. That number corresponds to the Greek or Hebrew word that was originally used. Then it gives a definition, and tells you how it is translated, and how many times it was translated that way. A very powerful tool if your’e getting into serious Bible study. Ummmm, I asked my Mom for it as a high school graduation present, or maybe it was for Christmas in college.
So, after studying it for a few minutes, I discovered, that yes, the terms do imply testimony in a court case, and then Jeff was kind enough to look it up on Logos (a Bible software) which then reaffirmed what I’d found. That answers that. Unless there’s a Hebrew scholar reading this who can tell me more, because I could still be wrong……….
Why did God give us the 10 Commandments?
Finally we got down to the nitty gritty of the 10 Commandments lesson, why did God give us the 10 Commandments? If you take time to look at all of the 10 Commandments you can see many good things in there, that everyone would agree with Christian, Jew, or atheist. Everyone agrees murder is bad, respecting your parents is good.
Ultimately to me, it comes down to God gave us these because He loves us. If we follow these commands our lives will go much easier. If you look at your life, you can see where things have gone wrong because you or someone else in your life broke one of the 10 Commandments. My parents got divorced because my Dad forgot the 10th Commandment, and it hurt my family in more ways that I could see at 15 years old.
You know what the odd thing is, if we can just obey the 1st Commandment and keep that one straight, all of the rest of the 10 Commandments fall into place pretty easily.
Moses and the 10 Commandments ideas and inspiration
- 10 Commandments printable (at the end of the storybook, the original I had linked to no longer seems to exist)
- Golden calf idol craft
- 10 Best Ways to Live (I got a lot of inspiration for my craft from here)
- 10 Commandments for kids
Every time I read a post like this it makes me yearn for Keilee to be little again. What a wonderful way to learn the 10 Commandments! I love the last line of this post. My preacher says our church does 2 things, Love God above all else and love our neighbor as our self. He says if you do those, the rest will take care of themselves!
maryanne @ mama smiles says
I wonder what the direct Hebrew translation is for do not lie…
Hmmm…….. OK, so I dug up my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance because you got me curious. I’ll update my post with all of this, but wanted to make sure and respond.
false (9214)- seqer- lies (21), lying (16), false (14), deceptive (4), falsely (4), lie (4), without cause (4),
testimony (6332)- ed- witness (38), witnesses (18), testify (3), testimony (3), call in as witnesses (1)……..
So, from looking at it and all of the ways the word is used, it’s overwhelmingly used for court cases. So, yes, that would be how the translation is intended.
Andrea @ No Doubt Learning says
Thanks for the post! I’m doing the 10 Commandments next week…and love your explanation of adultery for young kids!
This is a great way to categorize the 10 Commandments. Are you aware that the exact materials you’ve shown in this lesson are taken from the Godly Play curriculum? (The heart, the 10 commandments as pieces of the heart divided as they are.) I didn’t know if you were aware since no credit to Godly Play was given. It is “The 10 Best Ways” story. I adore the Godly Play curriculum, and if you weren’t aware of it, I wanted to tell you to check it out! I think you’ll love it!
I’ve looked at and loved a lot of ideas in Godly Play. I actually learned to break them down this way at some point before I’d seen “The 10 Best Ways lesson,” but I do need to go back and add in the links to a couple of really cool Godly Play lessons on this topic, because you’re right “The 10 Best Ways” is an awesome lesson, and I did draw some inspiration for how I put it together from it (I think I’d included the link in the printable, but forgot to put them in the post).
Thanks for letting me know I’d missed putting links to that, that was my mess up.