Can you tell me one of the rules from your school? Right, so who has to follow that rule? Do I ? Do your mum and Dad?
So one of the things about rules, is that they are only for people who are part of a certain group. You might have lots of different sets of rules. You might have some for when you are at home, and some for when you are at school. Kidzone might have some rules, like about having to have a parent or someone come and sign you out. We work under lots of different sets of rules.
So what about the ten commandments?
Who were they for? Do you know? There were this people of God, the Jewish people, the Hebrews, wandering around in the desert, and God met with them at this place: (Mt Sinai.)
God was about to let them into his special land, like his backyard, his chosen people, in his chosen spot, and he knew (because God knows everything) the best way for them to live, so that everything would go smoothly. A good set of rules can really help like that.
What we need to remember is that these were not rules for everyone. They weren’t even given to us! We aren’t Jewish people, and we don’t live in Canaan in the middle East, but we believe that we as the church of God are his chosen people too, so we have taken them on board as commandments for us to keep, too.
You can tell that these are only for people who believe in God. For example, people who don’t believe in God aren’t going to keep the first commandment to have no other Gods, because they don’t even have this one? And if they don’t believe in God they aren’t going to care about his name, or about resting and hearing his word on the sabbath.
So these are rules for God’s people.
Just like the rules in your house might not be like the rules in someone else’s house, or the rules at your school might not be like the rules at someone else’s school!
So even though we live in a different part of the world, and at a different time in history than the people God gave the ten commandments to, do they change? They might sound different to how they sounded then.
Let’s ask someone else how they learned them:
ASK OLDER PEOPLE
So are they different now, or are the meanings still the same?
Do they ever change?
Are there any new sins?
But there must be right?
Surely they didn’t have computers then. There must be new sins around computers. What about when you are told to get off yours so you can go to bed and you say: “Okay, I will” but then you ignore mum and dad and just keep on playing. Surely there can’t be a commandment for that, as they didn’t have computers when these were written, right?
Does that fit one of the commandments?
And what about cyber-bullying on social media? There can’t be a commandment for that, as there was no social media and media devices when these were written, right?
Although Moses did access the cloud with two tablets. Hmmm.
So, sit down if you have ever broken a commandment. Oh good, that means you realise that we ALL break them sometimes. And Jesus pointed out even more to us: You may not have killed, but Jesus said even hating someone makes us a murderer. We can never keep them all perfectly.
You see the commandments work in two ways. They are a great guideline for how to live as a believer in Jesus, but they have another job to do first: they show us how impossible it is to keep them all perfectly.
That’s why I said to sit down when you were already sitting down. To show that it is ALL of us. Because all of us have broken one of them at one time or another. We may not have honoured our mother and father every time we could have. We might have been jealous or envious of something that a friend or brother or sister had, or spoken unkindly about someone. (Don’t tell anyone, but I think that is the hardest one to keep, I smash that one SO often)
So, if I break the rules at the local pool, if I run around the edge of the pool or do a big bomb dive, what might they do to me?
Well, we are all sitting down, admitting that we have broken God’s rules, does he kick us out?
NO And that’s the great news.
God sent his Son, and who is God’s son? (Jesus) to take the punishment for everything that we have done wrong, so that we are not in trouble with him, he is not an angry god.
So sit down if God thinks you are perfect!
Are you? Not always. But God thinks you are because when he looks at you he sees Jesus and his perfection.
So wow, right? How do we respond to that? Now we look at these ten rules that God has given us in another way. I know I muck up, I know I make wrong choices, but boy I am going to do my best to keep them as well as I can to show God how thankful I am that he sent Jesus so that I can be friends with him.
And more great news!
If these ten commandments can be too many to remember, Jesus made it even easier for us!
Just like in the chook song, he narrowed it down to 2 that we can try to keep: love the Lord your God and love your neighbour as yourself.
So, in other words, love God and love the people.
Do we think we can do that?
Not on our own, but we are not on our own. We can love because God has loved us first.
Let’s finish with a prayer, and thank God of his love for us, and that he has even given us these easy ways to live together in peace.