By Janth English
Read Together: Israel was so afraid when they heard God speak the Ten Commandments that they asked for Moses to relay God’s words to them. God agreed. In addition to the Ten Commandments, God gave Moses “statutes.” Statutes are laws that apply to more specific situations. They help us understand how to apply the Ten Commandments in everyday life. God’s laws and statutes were designed to provide Israel a fair and just legal system that would protect people and property. When Jesus came to earth, He supported the laws of God, including the statutes, and taught His disciples about how to keep them in our heart and mind.
Read Together: Deuteronomy 4:1–10; Exodus 22:5, 14, 28; Exodus 23:1–17; Leviticus 23:1–3; Deuteronomy 4:1–10; 22:8.
- Explain to your student that the statutes are finer points to God’s Ten Commandments. For example, the Ten Commandments command us to keep the Sabbath, but the statutes explain there are “annual” Sabbaths as well (Leviticus 23:1–3).
- Read, with your child, Exodus 22:28. Ask your child if he or she ever hears people “cursing” or making fun of leaders today. How would this statute guide a child to behave toward his or her parent or teacher?
- Ask your child what the following statute means: “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Exodus 23:2). Can he or she think of a time when they’ve had to resist following others to do something they knew was wrong?
- With your child, read the statute in Exodus 23:4. Ask him or her, “Why would God want a person to bring back the animal of their enemy? Would that kind act possibly help them to be friends again?”
- Ask your child what the statute in Deuteronomy 22:5 means. Ask if they can see how that could apply in our world today (when some are confused about gender).
- Ask your child why God would make the statute in Deuteronomy 22:8. Would it not protect people from accidents?
Exodus 20:1–17 – The Ten Commandments (long form)