The Lord "shows himself" to the Israelites.
God then gives us the Commandments and directions on how to build stuff.
The whole episode on/around Mt. Sinai seems almost comical to me reading it as a man living in the 21st century. I see Moses, Aaron and Jethro (who conveniently left earlier in the story) concocting a plan to reinforce their status as leaders of the Israelites.
Moses: "The people are getting restless. I think we're dead men if they stopping believing we have God's ear."
Aaron: "I think we should make a break for it at night. I know a guy in Midian who can put us up for a few days."
Jethro: "Relax guys, These people will be building shrines to you if you do what I say.
Here's what we do; I'll say I'm heading out to start my own tribe, but I'll really just go up to the top of that mountain over there. Aaron you get a bunch of dried grass and wood and spread it around the mountain.
Moses, the next time it looks like a bad storm is coming, you go up the mountain and "talk to God", come down and tell the people God is coming to talk to them but that they can't get to close or they'll die. And tell them to wash up, man they stink! Any way, when it starts to storm, Aaron you light the brush on fire, I'll blow this soccer horn and talk in a really deep voice. Moses, just play along."
The Ten Commandments (depending on how you break them out) start off with rules on worshipping God and are very explicit. I can see how some modern religious sects interpret the graven images law as "Do not create art".
God then seems to gloss over the most important laws that are fundamental to a social order. Killing Stealing, Lying, Adultery. Could they have been inserted much later, like the U.S. Constitutions amendments?
The last commandment, while important to a healthy society seems to be there as a way to have people accept there place in the tribe (Be happy with what you have).
I believe we'll see them again later.