All of God’s commands are based on His acts of salvation. God does not give them a bunch of commands and then say, “If you do these, then I will set you free from slavery.” Instead it is, “I have set you free, now live free lives, following My commands.” There is a huge difference there. So often people think they have to earn God’s love, or that they can ignore His commands. It is only when I realize how much I was saved FROM, that I actually WANT to follow God’s rules.
God gives them commands about stealing; even though there is a commandment about not stealing, God still knows human nature, and wants there to be justice. The Lord calls them to be holy – and the punishment for many of the sins is death. This would not have been offensive to the ancient Israelites – they could be put to death for much less than this under Pharaoh.
God also shows He has a huge heart for the orphan, widow, and immigrant. He reminds them that they belong to Him, especially the firstborn. He reminds them that they were once immigrants, and their lives must change because of what He has saved them from. I need to spend time every day remembering all that God has saved me from, and let it change the way I live, even today.