In Exodus 20, we read of the "giving of the Law." God has delivered the people from the slavery and bondage of Egypt through Moses. Following the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, the people are making their way to the Promised Land- the land the Lord God had promised years and years and years ago to Abraham and to all of Abraham's descendents.
At the moment, other people live there. These people worship many, many gods. It will be tempting for God's people to adapt and fit in. So God gives God's people the Ten Words, the Ten Commandments:
No other gods, only me.
No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim.
No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won't put up with the irreverent use of his name.
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God.
Honor your father and mother so that you'll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you.
No lies about your neighbor.
No lusting after your neighbor's house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey.
This is not a check list of do's and don't's. Rather they are God's way of forming a people who are radically different. The purpose of the Commandments is to help God's people remember who and Who's they are, and to help them keep the Lord their God first and foremost in their lives.