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This small group Deuteronomy 5 Bible study guide contains commentary, discussion questions, cross-references, and application to encourage life change. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Deuteronomy 5 Bible Study Guide And Questions – The Ten Commandments

Outline

I. The covenant renewed (1-5)
II. The Ten Commandments Part 1 – Our Relationship with God (6-15)
III. The Ten Commandments Part 2 – Our Relationship with People (16-21)
IV. Moses represents the people before God (22-33)

I. The covenant renewed (1-5)

Discussion Questions

• Why did Moses call the assembly?
• What attitude were the people to have as they listened to him?
• What was Moses’ point in verse 3?
• How important is it for children to establish their own walk with God as they grow up?
• What does it mean that the Lord spoke to them “face to face?”

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. Moses summoned all Israel –

Deuteronomy 5:1 – And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today.”

Deuteronomy 5 begins a prolonged section where Moses reviews the law that God had given His people. He summoned “all Israel.” It was not just for a few. Every man, woman, and child needed to hear what Moses had to say. The covenant God made with them was applicable to all. It was a national issue. No one should be ignorant.

This is a reminder that God’s Word is for everyone. No one on earth doesn’t need it or already knows it all.

2. You shall learn them and be careful to do them – Knowledge does not come automatically. It requires time and commitment. God’s law is worth studying. However, the end goal is not head knowledge. It is life change. Moses tells them to “be careful to do” them. The goal is obedience. God’s laws are meant to change our attitudes and behavior. We are to study and obey.

3. The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb –

Mt. Horeb is where Moses first experiences God at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1). In the book of Exodus, this mountain is sometimes called Horeb and other times called Sinai (Exodus 19:16-20). At times, it is also referred to as the “mountain of God” (Exodus 18:5, 24:13). In the book of Deuteronomy, this mountain is almost exclusively called “Horeb.” In Hebrew, “Horeb” means “glowing” or “sun,” a fitting name since the Lord came to visit His people in a glowing fire on this mountain.

Most Bible scholars believe that Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are different names for the same location. The Ten Commandments were passed to Moses on this mountain. Later, God would establish His covenant with Israel at this mountain (Exodus 19-24).

The exact location of Mt. Sinai is unknown, though many sites have been proposed. The most important thing is not where this happened but what happened there.

4. Not with our fathers, but with us today –

Deuteronomy 5:3 – Not with our fathers did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today.

The original covenant was made with the previous generation. Moses makes it clear that this relationship with God was not a thing of the past. It wasn’t to be their parent’s faith. It was theirs. The covenant was being renewed with them.

It is a reminder that God has no grandchildren. No person receives salvation based on his parents’ faith.

John the Baptist made the same point to the Jewish leaders in New Testament times. They believed they were born into salvation because they were Jews, God’s chosen people.

Matthew 3:9 – And do not presume to say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.

Application – No one is born a Christian. Beginning a relationship with God is a personal decision. Do not rely on being born into a Christian family or praying a prayer decades ago. Today is the day of salvation. God wants a relationship with you today. Let us renew our commitment to Him day after day.

5. God spoke to them out of the midst of the fire –

In the last chapter, this was given as evidence that God alone is true. It was a unique situation and no other “god” had ever done it before.

Deuteronomy 4:33 – Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live?

God condescended to establish a relationship with His people. God is transcendent. He is different than we are. However, the deist view that God created the world and then abandoned it to its own devices is false. God continues to be involved with His creation. He has never and will never forsake it.

It is vital for us that God chose to reveal Himself to people. If God did not reveal Himself, we could not know Him. One of the most exciting aspects of the giving of the Ten Commandments is that God chose to reveal Himself, His character, and His moral code within these laws.

The fire that He spoke to them from was light. He is light. These laws are His light. The Ten Commandments are a reminder that people do not need to walk in darkness.

Rather than men doing whatever is right “in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), we have truth to guide us.

Application – It is a great blessing that God has revealed His truth to us. It is our job to study and obey it. What practical ways can you be more diligent in studying the truth of God’s Word?

II. The Ten Commandments Part 1 – Our Relationship with God (6-15)

Discussion Questions

• What is your impression of the ten commandments?
• What are the first four about?
• What are the last six about?
• Why do they start with our relationship with God instead of our relationship with people?
• Which ones are the most challenging for you to keep?
• Have you disobeyed any? If so, which ones?
• What do these commandments reveal to us about God’s character?
• What do they reveal about our character?
• Why would people carve images to worship?
• How is God jealous?
• What does it mean that God visits iniquity upon the third and fourth generations (9)?
• What does it mean to take God’s name in vain? Why is it so common in our culture?
• What are some specific ways we can honor the name of God?
• What was the purpose of the Sabbath day?
• Who was required to keep it?
• What does it mean not to do “any work” on the Sabbath?
• Should we keep the Sabbath day today?
• Are there any principles regarding the Sabbath that are still relevant to us today?

Cross-References

John 14:15 – If you love me, you will keep my commandments.

Romans 3:20 – For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Romans 8:3-4 – For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Matthew 5:17 – Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Colossians 3:5 – Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Psalms 135:15-18 – The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them.

Galatians 4:8-9 – Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. I am the Lord your God –

Deuteronomy 5:6 – I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

With this statement, the Lord established His credentials. He is God. He had proved His supremacy over all others by miraculously delivering them from Egypt while systematically exposing their false gods one by one.

The following words are immortal. These laws not only codify God’s moral code but also reveal His righteous character to us.

Our consciences testify that they are true. Civilizations worldwide establish laws with many of these basic tenets about how to treat other people. But it is not these reasons that make the words immortal. They are immortal because they were spoken by an eternal and unchanging God.

It was His divine power that gave these words their moral authority. God’s authority and power were clearly evident. When He spoke, it was their duty to listen.

Application – We are to be “quick to listen and slow to speak” (James 1:19). We often think of this statement in relation to our communication with people. That is certainly true. But it is perhaps even more true in our relationship with God.

In prayer time, do you listen to God or give him a series of requests (demands)? Prayer is not primarily about changing God’s mind. He already knows what we are going to say before we say it. Prayer is about drawing close to God and preparing to hear from Him. How can you be a better listener to God?

2. You shall have no other gods before me – The first four commands all deal with people’s relationship with God. These are the instructions that relate to our “vertical” relationship with God. The final six commands deal with peoples’ relationships with other people. They are the “horizontal” peer-to-peer edicts.

The first command forms the foundation for the rest of them. God alone is to be worshiped. There are no other gods.

We grew up being taught Christian beliefs with the same principle that there is only one God. Therefore, this command seems normal and expected. But at that time, it was radical.

Judaism is the oldest monotheistic religion in the world. That in itself gives it credibility as being true. The Old Testament Scriptures are unique because they did not come from the mind of man. They came from God.

From the first sentence in Scripture, we see only one God.

Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

These commands are mostly straightforward to understand. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar to understand them. They don’t need a deep level of interpretation. They are self-evident. This command means what it says, do not have any other gods. Notice the lowercase “g.” Of course, there is no other real God. But there are many things that people proclaim to be gods, some completely false and some perhaps supernatural forces of evil, which Satan or his demons are behind.

This command is a reminder that God is exclusive. There is one God. There is one way to God.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Universalism is a common new-age belief that all paths lead to God. The first commandment shows that all views are not equal. One is true and others are not. There is one true God. Jesus also believed this.

Luke 4:8 – And Jesus answered him, “It is written,” ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”

3. You shall not make for yourself a carved image – Carved images were discussed extensively in the study on Deuteronomy 4:15-31.

God is Spirit and does not have a likeness like any created being. No person on earth has ever seen God (John 1:18). A carved image can only come from man’s own imagination. Therefore every carved image meant to represent God is the result of man-made religion at best or de