Small Group Notes 2.28.2016

The Ten Commandments (5-10)

Exodus 20:12-17


Opening Question

  • We’ve learned that the first four commandments reveal something about who God is and our relationship to Him.
  • Why do you think the last six of the Ten Commandments might be important?
    • Is it just about how we should treat other people?
    • Does it reveal something about God’s image, which all people were created to be?


Read Exodus 20:12-17 (HCSB)

Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 Do not murder.
14 Do not commit adultery.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor


Remember that the Ten Commandments began with God and all of God’s commands reveal something about God. Let’s examine these commands one by one.

  • What might the command for us to honor our fathers and mothers reveal about God?
    • It could mean that God cares about order.
    • It means that authority, especially within the family, is instituted by God.
      • Not everyone in authority honors God, but the concept of authority itself is based in God’s character so we honor God when we respect authority and when we exercise authority well.
    • When authority is respected, the people will live long in the land.
      • Notice that in context, Moses is addressing the entire nation of Israel and not an individual. Why do you think this is important?
      • Some people will say that if we as individuals honor our parents that God will let us live longer, but this is not what the Scripture claims.
      • We respect authority because authority in based in God’s very nature and we honor Him when we respect authority.
    • What might the command for us not to murder reveal about God?
      • It means that God considers every person to be worth something.
      • Remember that people were created in God’s image. If all people were created to be God’s image, what do we insinuate about God when we commit murder?
        • We insinuate that God’s image is worthless.
        • If we insinuate that God’s image is worthless, then we also insinuate that God is worthless because His image is a picture of Him.
        • It is important to note here that all killing might not be considered wrong, but murder is most definitely sinful for this reason.
      • What might the command for us not to steal reveal about God?
        • Even if we steal out of need, we insinuate that God is not sufficient for us when we take things from others that we do not have.
        • The command not to steal reveals God’s all sufficiency.
        • It also reveals that God cares a lot about ownership.
          • If we remember Genesis 1, God gave people the entire earth. Us being made in God’s image means that we belong to Him.
          • When we steal, we also break the first command, “Do not have any other gods before me.”
          • In fact, this might be true anytime we disobey God.
        • What might the command for us not to give false testimony about our neighbor reveal about God?
          • Lying, like stealing, insinuates that God, who is truth, is not sufficient for us.
          • If we are made in God’s image and God is truth, we mock Him when we do not tell the truth, especially concerning our neighbor who was also created to be God’s image.
        • What might the command for us not to covet our neighbor’s things reveal about God?
          • When we dwell on the things we do not have, we actually mock God’s goodness.
          • We insinuate that He has not been good to us and, again, that He is insufficient.


Through the last 6 of the Ten Commandments, God declares His all-sufficiency for our lives. We need not worry about what we have or do not have and we need to respect authority.

  • God will provide us everything we need to accomplish His purposes on this earth.
  • God has all authority to do just that!
  • The Ten Commandments are important for our lives. Not only are they important as we live, but also as we strive to know more about the God who saves!

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