Receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)

Scripture Text:

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Exodus 20


1. Who laid down the law in your home? How did you try to bend the rules?

2. What are some modern idols and false gods? How do you avoid them?

3. How do you misuse the Lord’s name in deed and word?

4. How often do you take time for rest, spiritual rejuvenation and worship?

5. Behavior that honors parents – what does it look like? Who then is blessed?

6. How does murder vary from killing? What does Jesus add to this (see Matthew 5:21, 22)?

7. What happens to a marriage when one commits adultery? What does Jesus add to this (see Matthew 5:28)?

8. What passes for stealing? What forms of stealing are worse than others?

9. Is lying okay if it doesn’t injure another, as false witness does? How about “little white lies”?

10. What passes for coveting (verse 17) as Jesus defines sins of the heart (see Matthew 5:21 – 30)?

11. What shift in focus do you see between verses 3 – 11 and verses 12 – 17? What links the two sets of laws?

12. What link do you see between verses 18 – 21 and verses 1 – 17? What does it mean “fear not, fear God” (verse 20)?

13. Restate each of these Ten Commandments positively as the “Ten Freedoms”. When you do this, what realizations do you come to?


At this point, the book of Exodus lists the first of many laws God will set forth for His people to follow. I will present all the laws (found in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) later in a series of posts. 

To continue the goal of this blog (presenting the Biblical text in chronological order), the next post will pick up with the second half of Exodus chapter 23.


At Mount Sinai (Exodus 19)

Scripture Text:

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Exodus 19


1. Where were you when you first experienced the reality of God? What happened there? What feelings do you have for this place?

2. After all was said and done, who met God that day: Only Moses? Aaron and the priests, too? The people, as well? Explain how each may have met God.

3. When did you last truly experience the presence of God? What impact did that have on you?

4. Would you even want to meet God face-to-face like Moses did? If not, who would you trust to send in your place?

5. What feelings do you have toward the person who walks close with God and talks to Him: Apathy? Jealousy? Relief? Fear? Curiosity? Deference?

6. What barriers has Jesus set aside so we can draw near to God with confidence (see Hebrews 10:19ff)? What does Peter urge us to do to become “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9)? What will you do about this, today?

Jethro Visits Moses (Exodus 18)

Scripture Text:

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Exodus 18


1. Right now, which is stacked higher: Your IN basket or your OUT basket? How are you coping?

2. What is your image of the ideal father-in-law?

3. For what advice have you leaned from him before? What advice would you welcome from him now?

4. From what you’ve read so far, what can you infer was Moses’ job description? What were his priorities?

5. What gave Jethro the right to challenge Moses’ way of doing things? How do you suppose Moses felt after this critique of his leadership?

6. Note the way Jethro delivered his constructive criticism. What makes it possible for Moses to hear and act on it?

7. How did you react the last time you were corrected or criticized by your boss? Your spouse? Your in-laws?

8. How open are you to criticism and feedback from others? Whose criticism do you receive the best? How do they get through to you?

9. In your relationships, do you feel like you’re typically on the giving or the receiving end? What does this passage say to you about your own needs? About doing more than you should? About accepting help from others?

10. When have you felt overwhelmed in your responsibilities as Moses must have? What (if anything) do you do to relieve the pressure? How does Jethro’s counsel apply to your current employment situation?

11. If you are a caregiver, how much have you tried to “share the load” with others? To what degree do you share Jethro’s concern that you and those you care for will “wear yourselves out”?

12. What is the primary reason why you’re working so hard?

  • No one else can do what I do
  • I am a workaholic
  • I am a perfectionist
  • I hate to say no
  • I like to be in control
  • I need to please others
  • I am doing what I think God wants me to do
  • A better (or more creative) solution has not been suggested