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The Israelites had been traveling in the desert for about 3 months (which is a little longer than regular summer holidays) when they came to Mount Sinai. They were going to stay there for a while plus they excellent shelter from the mountain.
Moses got unpacked and decided to walk up the mountain to talk to God. Remember that this wasn't very easy for Moses, he was already over 80 years old.
God knew that Moses was coming so He spoke to Moses and told him to tell the Israelites to get ready. Moses came down to tell the people to have a bath and to clean all their clothes.
By doing this the people were getting prepared to hear important words from God. That is why we sometimes dress up or make sure we have clean clothes on when we go to church. It makes us hopefully behave a little nicer and shows respect to God.
On the third morning after Moses had talked to God, the Israelites where busy making their breakfast when all of a sudden there was a large rumble and a flash of light over the mountain. Anyone who was still sleeping were startled and woke up suddenly.
Everyone went out to look and just over the mountain there was lightning and thunder, and a very thick cloud hung over the mountain so you couldn't see the top. Even the mountain shook and the sound of trumpets could be heard getting louder and louder.
So Moses went up the mountain to hear from God once again. This time God told Moses, "Go down to the people and tell them not to follow you up the mountain, the mountain is a special place because I am here." So Moses warned the people not to touch or go to close to the mountain.
After that Moses went back up the mountain. But this time he stayed there for a long time (40 days and 40 nights), God sure had a lot to tell him. God wanted to instruct the people on how to live. By following His rules they would have less sadness in their lives. God just wanted to protect them.
It's just like when our parents give us rules to protect us: to look both ways before we cross the street, to not hit our brother or sister... they give us rules because they love us and know what's best for us.
We'll just talk about the first ten commandments God told Moses, otherwise we might be here for 40 days and we don't have time for that. Besides, the 10 commandments are the most important for us right now. Remember as you hear each commandment that they are all equally important, one is not more important than the other.
The first commandment is to put God first. This means that nothing should be more important than God - a hobby you enjoy, tv or video games, even your friends and family should not be more important than God.
The second command is to worship only God. This is like the first commandment in that God wants our love, and He doesn't want us to bow down and worship a statue just because we can't see Him. In other words God is the only one that we should pray to.
The third commandment is broken all the time. God commands us to use His name with respect. Many people use God's name like a swear word, or say it when they're upset. God wants us to use His name when we're talking to Him, or telling others about Him in a nice way. To use His name in these other ways is very disrespectful and hurts God to hear it.
The forth commandment should be easy, we are to remember God's Sabbath. God wants us to take one day of the week and rest. When God made the world in six days, He rested on the seventh day. This gets harder when you get older, there always seems to be something to do, but remember God commands us to take a day off.
The fifth commandment might be a little tricky for some of you, but its very important (like all the other commandments) that you follow it. He tells us to respect our parents. Sometimes you might think you know what's best, or you get frustrated because your parents won't let you do something. Remember your parents were once kids just like you, and they are trying to keep you safe and from making the same mistakes they've already made.
Which commandment is next...oh right, it's the sixth commandment. This commandment says don't hurt others. Now imagine for a minute if everyone in the whole world obeyed this rule like God wants us to. We probably wouldn't have any jails and we would all get along with one another.
The seventh commandment is for those who are married. God tells us to be faithful in marriage. He wants us to love our wife or husband someday (even if they get on your nerves once and a while) and treat them with respect.
The eighth commandment is don't steal. This means that we shouldn't take something that doesn't belong to us.
We are almost done, the next commandment is don't lie. It is always better to tell the truth, and while you're at it don't do anything that would make you want to lie. Usually parents know when you're lying anyway, and if you don't get caught God sees and hears everything and He knows.
The last commandment is don't be envious of others. This means that we shouldn't wish to have things that someone else has. I know there is always a new toy or game - there is always something that we want to get. It's important to remember that these things aren't really important. God is the most important (if you remember the first commandment).
Now I know this list might seem impossible to follow all the time. I know that I don't follow all these commands all the time, and I'm going to pray to God and ask His forgiveness and try to do my very best to not do it again.
Another thing to remember is that if you disobey a commandment God sees the smallest lie just the same as if someone hurt someone really bad. I know sometimes we think if we just told a little lie it wouldn't matter or God wouldn't notice, but it does matter and God does notice. It makes Him sad when we disobey Him, so when we make a mistake we need to say sorry to God and to the person you've wronged and try to be a better person next time.
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