Key Scripture: Exodus 24:12, 15-18; 31:18
God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery, across the Red Sea, and into the wilderness. God had set his people free, so they could have a relationship with him. He was planning to live with his special people and lead them to the land he had promised to give their father Abraham. God was going to bless the Israelites, so they could show his glory to all people on Earth. But for sinful people to live with a holy God, there must be rules. Because God had set them free, the Israelites needed to know how God expected them to live.
God called Moses to meet him at the top of a mountain called Sinai. God’s awesome glory was seen at Mount Sinai. The people at the base of the mountain saw thunder and lightning, fire and smoke. This reminded them that God is perfect and good. He cannot live in the presence of sin. His people must be holy like he is holy.
Moses met God at the top of the mountain. God gave him the Ten Commandments and all the law, written on tablets of stone with his own finger! These rules showed the people God’s perfect nature. The law reminded the people that they didn’t have to work to earn God’s love. He already loved them! Because God had loved them first, the law commanded the people to love God and worship him only. It told them to love other people in the same way they loved themselves. God promised to live with his people and bless them if they obeyed his law. The people promised to obey.
Sadly, though, God’s people did not keep their promise. Before Moses even came down from Mount Sinai, they had disobeyed by creating a golden calf to worship. You see, the law showed the people how they were supposed to live, but it didn’t have the power to help them obey it. God’s people needed more than the law. They needed a rescuer to keep the law perfectly in their place and then give them the power they needed to obey.
Main Point: God gave his people the law, written on tablets of stone. The law showed them how sinners are to live in relationship with a holy God. Because of their sinful hearts, God’s people could not keep his law. It showed them their need for a rescuer.
Christ Connection: Jesus Christ is the rescuer who kept God’s law perfectly in the place of God’s people (Galatians 3:21-26; Matthew 5:17-18).