THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
: Old Testament Stories
The Israelites journeyed onward and encamped before Mount Sinai. There
God talked with Moses, and instructed him to remind the people of the
great things He had done for them; and to say that if they obeyed Him,
and kept His covenant, they should be a peculiar treasure to Him above
all people, and a holy nation.
When the people heard God's message, they answered, "All that the Lord
hath spoken we will do.
How happy would they have been if they had
always kept this promise! But, alas! they did not do so; and great
punishments came upon them in consequence.
God also said that on the third day He would descend upon Mount Sinai;
and commanded the people to prepare themselves for that great and
solemn event. None were to approach the mount, for if they did so they
would die. On the third day, according to the command, the people
gathered before Mount Sinai. A thick cloud covered the mountain, which
smoked and quaked, and there were thunders and lightnings; a trumpet
also sounded exceeding loud, so that all the people trembled. Then God
spake from the midst of the fire, and gave the people the Ten
Commandments. These you will find in the twentieth chapter of Exodus;
and little folks with sharp eyes can read them in our picture.
We are told that "all the people saw the thunderings, and the
lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking;"
and when they saw it they were so much afraid that they stood afar
off. How holy is God's law, and how careful should we be to obey it!