GOD GIVES HIS LAW
Scripture: Books of the Law; Deuteronomy 6:1–9; Psalm 19:7
Memory verse: Psalm 19:7
"The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul."
Display a map with an index showing the population of each city, and several books, such as a book about relationships, a book on government, a book about a secret agent or spy, an adventure story, and a biography.
Draw the students’ attention to each item. Ask them to explain what they think each item might be about or in what way it might be used. For example, point to the index portion of the map. The number beside each city’s name tells the city’s population. Explain that this information came from a government census that counted the people in those cities. The numbers are called “statistics.”
Pick up the books. Encourage the students to share what types of stories they like to read, such as biographies, adventures, and so forth. Select the book on government and review reasons for having laws in a society. Ask the students what persons make the laws of a nation.
Close discussion by commenting that books can tell us a lot. We can learn about people in the past by reading of their adventures, laws, and relationships within families and societies.
Explain that there is one set of books that includes all these things —history, adventure, law, statistics, biographies, and relationships.
Hearing God’s Word
Ask: “Does anyone know the formula for remembering the number of books in the Old and New Testaments?” (Let the students respond. Write the formula on the chalkboard.)
- Count the number of letters in the word Old. (3)
- Count the number of letters in the word Testament. (9)
- Place the numbers side by side to find the number of books in the Old Testament. (39)
- For the number of books in the New Testament, multiply those numbers. (3 x 9 = 27)
The 39 books of the Old Testament can be divided into 5 groups. The first group, which we will look at, is called by various names. Jewish people call it the Torah. Its Greek name is Pentateuch. The prefix Penta means “five.” The whole word Pentateuch means “five-volume book.” In English we call it the Mosaic Law. “Mosaic” refers to Moses, the author of the books. Most commonly, however, these books are called the books of the Law. Originally the Law was in one large unit—it had no divisions. It was divided into five parts or books when it was translated into Greek.
Genesis is the first book of the Law. What does the word Genesis mean? Genesis means “beginnings.” That is a good name for the first book of the Bible.
Ask: “Who was the author of Genesis?” (Allow response.)
Moses is thought to be the author of all five books of the Law. As a book of beginnings, Genesis describes the creation of the earth, the universe, and mankind. The basis of every major teaching concerning God, sin, and salvation is found in Genesis.
In this great book of beginnings we learn God created all things and designed a plan for our salvation. When Adam and Eve sinned, God was not caught off guard. God had a plan that would provide a way for mankind to be free from sin and reunited in fellowship with Him. We should be thankful God loves us and has made it possible for us to escape the penalty of sin, which is spiritual death and eternal separation from God.
Genesis also tells about the lives of Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the beginning of the Israelites—God’s chosen people.
Exodus continues the theme of God’s plan to save His people. It is an adventure-filled book that opens with God’s people suffering as slaves under the rule of Egypt’s cruel Pharaoh.
Ask: “How did God use Moses and Aaron to bring about Israel’s release?” (Allow responses. Focus on the plague of death of the firstborn child, which was the last plague against Egypt. Tell how each family of Israel was spared by the blood of a lamb.)
A central theme in Exodus is God’s plan of redemption, or salvation, through the shedding of blood. This is clearly illustrated in Israel’s escape from death by putting the blood of a lamb on their doorposts. Jesus’ sacrifice for us is shown here. Just as the lamb’s blood on the doorpost saved Israel from death in Egypt, Jesus’ blood saves us from eternal death in hell. Just as Israel was freed from slavery, we can be freed from slavery to sin when we ask Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour.
Exodus also presents a major part of God’s law to us. What are these Laws called? (The Ten Commandments.)
Ask: “Why are these Laws still important today?” (Allow response.)
God’s laws, given to Moses on Mt. Sinai centuries ago, are the foundation for many laws in our legal system today.
The first four commandments deal with our relationship to God. The last six commandments deal with our relationship to others.
Ask: “What do you think is significant about that order?” (Allow responses. Focus on the fact that our relationship with God must be right before we can have good relationships with others.)
Ask: “What kind of world would we live in if everyone followed that principle?” (Allow discussion.)
Exodus concludes with God giving Moses instructions for the tabernacle. It would be built to serve as a special place of worship to God. Worship is an important part of our relationship with God.
Leviticus, named after the priestly tribe of Levi, is a book of laws that were designed to make Israel a holy nation, separated from the customs and actions of other nations. They would be different from other nations—spiritually, morally, mentally, and physically. God wanted Israel to be dedicated to serving Him—the one true God.
Is this issue important today? Does God want us to be different from those in the world? Yes! (Ask a student to read 2 Corinthians 6:17, 18.) We are to be set apart to live holy lives that show we are followers of Jesus. We can do this only as we live according to the principles and teachings of God’s Word.
Leviticus is not like Genesis or Exodus. The first two Bible books tell what happened in the Israelites’ lives. Leviticus deals with God’s rules for the people of Israel.
Many laws and regulations that God’s people were required to follow are given in Leviticus. Since Jesus gave His life as a perfect sacrifice for our sins, we no longer have to observe the many sacrifices mentioned in Leviticus. However, Leviticus is still important to us. It teaches us that to obey God, we must observe the spiritual principles in His Word.
The Book of Numbers picks up where Exodus left off in recording the lives of the Israelites as they continued their journey toward Canaan. During this part of the journey, much attention was given to order and service. A count or census of the Israelites was taken. The people were grouped according to their tribes, and service tasks for the priests and Levites were given. It was a busy time of setting things in order.
Perhaps the most familiar story in Numbers is about Moses sending Joshua, Caleb, and 10 other spies to spy out the land of Canaan.
Ask: “Do you remember what happened when the spies returned? How did Joshua and Caleb’s report differ from the others?” (Allow responses.)
Joshua and Caleb believed what God said about His helping them take the land of Canaan. They trusted in His power. The other spies did not believe they could take the land. All they thought about were the mighty people in the land. Because of their report, the people of Israel refused to obey God’s command to go into Canaan. This disobedience brought God’s judgement. Israel was sentenced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. Most of the Book of Numbers is about the “wandering” period in Israel’s history.
From the Book of Numbers we learn about the need for organization and service, but most importantly we learn that it is necessary to obey God and place our complete trust in His ability to help us with any problem we may face. He is more than able to help us—no matter how difficult the situation might be.
What is the definition of Deuteronomy? (The second Law). As its name suggests, the Book of Deuteronomy is a restating or review of God’s laws to Israel.
Deuteronomy covers the period of time just before Israel entered Canaan. Moses had finished his mission as Israel’s leader. They were now on the border of the Promised Land. It was time to review many things. So, in two major speeches, Moses reviewed Israel’s wanderings in the wilderness and the importance of the Law. In a third speech, Moses spoke of some things that would take place in Israel’s future. He reminded the people that they needed to obey God’s commands to avoid punishment for disobedience.
Accepting God’s Word
We too need to review what God has done for us. We need to read His Word every day. That is the only way we can really know how to live in a way that is pleasing to God. We also need to be aware that Jesus will return again one day for those who have been obedient to His commands. We should rejoice over His promise and renew our commitment to obey Him.
Heavenly Father, your eye is upon the Orma people. You understand their frustration with the drought and the loss of their cattle, their livelihood for centuries. They are Your creation, beautiful people made in the image of God. In dealing with them, their eyes have been opened to the need of looking beyond Islam. They need You, Almighty God, and are willing to admit it.
To the Christian community, a sovereign God has set before them an open door to share the love of Jesus with hurting people. As they respond in tender compassion, may an adequate witness of the gospel be given. Allow the Orma to awaken to the need of finding salvation in Jesus Christ.
Secular education will be an asset to the Orma and offer some security for the future. However, may they recognize that security for eternity is available to them by simply placing their faith in the living Christ. May a tragedy be turned into a triumph; a loss into a gain and sorrow into gladness.
Thank you, Lord, for meeting the Orma at their level of need. Be glorified in this situation and may the needs of frustrated people be addressed. Jesus declared in John 16:23: "My Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.... Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete." In Jesus Name we ask You, heavenly Father, to provide for the immediate security needs of the Orma and that, as a people, they will accept Your offer of salvation by which they will find hope for the future. Amen.
Remember: GOD GIVES HIS LAW
Memory verse: Psalm 19:7
"The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul."
1. Genesis means “beginnings.”
2. Every book in the Bible has a message for me.
3.The Bible is God's standard for my life.
Pray for messengers to be sent to the Orma.
Study 5 | Preach Christ/Our Bible | africaatts.org/go-teach