Lest we forget, Moses had a wife, Zipporah and two sons, Gershom and Eliezer with him before being chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. At some point in time he had left them with Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Median.
After learning of how God was caring for His people under Moses’ leadership, Jethro brought Zipporah, Gershom and Eliezer to him in the wilderness. It was a joyous reunion with Moses and Jethro inquiring about each other’s welfare.
Jethro recognized that Moses was working too hard in being solely responsible for mediating between the people and God. He suggested dividing the people into thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens and setting qualified men over those groups to judge the smaller matters. Moses then had time and strength to judge the greater matters.
After a period of time, Jethro returned to his home in Median.
It had been more than two months since the children of Israel had left Egyptian bondage and begun their trek to the Promised Land. They had reached the base of Mount Sinai and God was ready to set up His laws to govern the people.
Moses, at God’s instruction reminded the Israelites that God had borne them on, “eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” They were to be a special treasure, kingdom of priests and a holy nation IF they would obey Him and keep His covenant. The people responded, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”
God is a loving and merciful God, but He is also a strict and just God. He gave strict instructions to the people that they wear clean clothes and do NOT touch the mountain or they would be put to death.
The scene that followed was awesome. Thunderings and lightnings, cloud of smoke and the loud sound of the trumpet were seen and heard by all of the people as the mountain quaked greatly. That was a momentous and historical occasion in the history of man as Moses ascended Mount Sinai to receive what would become known as the Law of Moses.
The list of commands that is commonly referred to as the Ten Commandments was presented as a summary of the Law that was to guide the children of Israel for many years in the future.
God expects to be first in people’s lives. He presented the first four specific commands to that effect. The following six commandments dealt with man’s relationship with other people. Jesus pointed this out later when He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”