Moses. Anyone who has ever been to Sunday school, read Sunday School curriculum, or studied Bible stories for kids, will have heard of Moses. He is iconic to many people of faith because his story is one of failure, perseverance, disobedience, God’s promises, of course, the 10 Commandments.
The life of Moses is a compelling story about survival and overcoming obstacles. It’s also an opportunity for teaching kids faith in the midst of the many challenges of their life because few people have as many challenges as Moses! As kids learn about Moses trusting in God and persevering, they will have a reference point for how to respond when things go wrong in their own life.
As you teach kids about Moses, remember that one of the key aspects of his life that kids should know about are the 10 Commandments. These ten rules sketch out the biblical boundaries for a well-lived life and are important for every child to know.
Teaching the 10 Commandments
When teaching the 10 Commandments, it’s important to teach kids that these are boundaries given to protect us. If you approach them as a set of rules, then kids prone to knocking rules will not want to hear them.
Here’s an example you can use when teaching kids about Jesus and biblical principles. Ask your kids to identify some important things to have if they were to become a zookeeper. Some will say food, water, and other predictable things. These are all fundamental, but some of the most important parts of a zoo are the fences. They not only protect the animals from getting run over by cars, but they protect the animals from each other. The fences are protection, and so are the principles taught in the Bible – they are meant to protect, not simply to restrict. The 10 Commandments were given to protect us.
Write out each of the 10 Commandments with your kids using language they can understand (Exodus 20:1-17). For example:
- Have no other gods but God.
- Do not worship statues.
- Be careful with God’s name.
- Keep the Sabbath day special.
- Honor your father and mother.
- Do not murder.
- Keep your marriage promises.
- Do not steal.
- Do not lie.
- Do not covet.
Explain to your kids that learning and living by the 10 Commandments helps us treat others in ways that are pleasing to God and that will lead to our safety and happiness together. The 10 Commandments protect us from wrong behavior and all of its consequences.
Before going on with your lesson, have a little fun by watching Go Fish – Ten Commandment Boogie. Not only will the kids love it, but it’s a clever way to help them remember the commandments.
Moses – The Man of the Hour
Moses had an amazing life that was exciting, disappointing, and scary. He was given up as a baby because his mother wanted to save him. He was rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised in Pharaoh’s house with all the privileges. He realized God’s calling on his life and was willing to give up his life of luxury, his position, and his future in order to follow what God wanted for His people. Moses ended up being the leader of God’s people who defied Pharoah and led them out of Egypt and toward the promised land. After God rescued the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, he visited personally with Moses and gave him the 10 Commandments so that they could know how to live as God’s people, reflecting God’s own light and life into the world.
Through all of this, Moses learned to trust in God and His plan for his life. He learned that life is better when God is in control. In return, God showed Moses that He is a faithful God even when it doesn’t look like He is present. God is always there!
Play Go Fish – Ten Commandment Boogie again and then write all of the commandments on the board. Tell your students that you are going to work together to memorize all 10 of them. Give them several minutes to look at them and then repeat them a few times as a class.
Once you feel like they have a good grasp of them, erase the board and ask for a student to give you #1, then #2, and continue on until you have all of them on the board again. You can play this game several times. The last time you do it, leave the commandments written on the board and ask them to talk about how each of the commandments can help you treat others better. Remind them again that the commandments are for our protection and that they are not meant to be a restriction. The 10 Commandments are just another way God shows His love for us by teaching us how to love him and our neighbors well.