The 10 Commandments: Sunday School Lesson Intro

Bottom line: The 10 Commandments can help us lead a good life.

Objective: God wanted his people Israel to live as sweet a life as possible, so he gave them 10 commandments for being “sweet” to him and “sweet” to others.

Key passage: Exodus 20:1-20, The 10 Commandments

A dozen minus two

Everybody has their favorite foods, and we all have preferences for some things over other things. Some people like steak, and some prefer chicken. Some like veggies, others like fruit. Some like gummi candies, others prefer chocolate. There’s a whole world of variety out there when it comes to food, and there’s hardly any food categories we can all agree on. Except maybe one.

Is there anyone in here who doesn’t like doughnuts? It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t have an appreciation for the yummy, sweet goodness of doughnuts. Doughnuts are perfect for breakfast, or for a dessert to snack on later in the day. No, they’re not especially healthy, but they are so sweet to eat! Perhaps it’s the remarkable variety of doughnuts that makes them so popular. There are thick cake doughnuts, fluffy yeast doughnuts, and lighter crullers. There are iced doughnuts, glazed doughnuts, and doughnuts covered in powdered sugar. There are doughnuts with a hole, doughnut holes, and long johns. There are doughnuts filled with jelly, lemon, cream, and custard.

Some specialty doughnut shops have become really creative with doughnuts. These days you can find square doughnuts, croissant doughnuts, doughnuts topped or filled with bacon, doughnuts with peanut butter icing and jelly filling, doughnuts topped with candy or cereal. Whatever your preference for doughnuts may be, there’s no denying one fact: doughnuts are sweet, and eating them makes life sweeter. 

Doughnuts are usually sold a dozen at a time, but as you may have noticed, today’s lesson is called “A Dozen Minus Two.” We’re not trying to short you on doughnuts, but we are going to use doughnuts to draw your attention to ten things that can make a sweet difference in your life. I’m talking about God’s law, the Ten Commandments, that God gave to Moses and his people Israel.

The 10 Commandments: main point

Believe it or not, this passage marks the first time anyone recorded any commands from God about how to live. The Ten Commandments taught us what sin was. They taught us that it is wrong to disrespect God, disobey our parents, to steal, to kill, to covet, or to do any harm to someone else out of jealousy or bitterness. But the Ten Commandments are more than just a list of “do nots.” If we learn to follow the Ten Commandments, we will eliminate things from our life that cause us to do harm to others.

Instead of hurting other people, we can make life sweeter. We will be more kind to our friends and neighbors. We will be more loving to our families. Most important, we will learn to treat God with respect. The Ten Commandments make life sweeter because they teach us to be sweeter!

Drive it home

Every morning, at bakeries and restaurants chains around the world, bakers go into work while we are still asleep. Why? Because it’s time to make the doughnuts. They fire up the ovens, the fryers, and the other devices used for making doughnuts. They follow carefully crafted recipes to make the perfect doughnuts. Then they top them with chocolate icing, powdered sugar, sweet glaze, cinnamon, and any number of ways!

A doughnut recipe is a set of step-by-step instructions that lead to a sweeter breakfast. The Ten Commandments are step-by-step instructions to a sweeter life. By learning what we need to do to honor God, we will focus more in putting God first and keeping ourselves from chasing false gods. Likewise, by learning what not to do to our parents, our siblings, our friends, and even people we don’t know, we can focus more on doing good to them.

What’s more, being sweet to others makes life sweeter for us. God will bless us for the love and kindness we show others, and that love and kindness is usually returned. Our sweet behavior will inspire others to be kinder and more loving to the people around them, making our schools, our community, and our world a sweeter place to be.

The 10 Commandments: Sunday School Lesson Conclusion

The Ten Commandments are not simply a list of “do nots.” They are a recipe to make life sweeter than any doughnut. I pray that each of you will memorize this recipe. Then all of you will see just how sweet life can be when we follow God’s lead.

Prayer

Dear God,

Thank you for teaching us the way to live.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Photo credit: Unsplash/Anna Sullivan


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