For forty years, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness carrying with them two stones which God had written on: the Ten Commandments. These stones reminded them that they were God's people and reminded them of the way of life that God called them to. In Deuteronomy, Moses reminds the Israelites (just as they are about to enter into the Promised Land) to not forget the God that brought them out of Egypt and nourished & protected them in the wilderness.
God (for us) is also a relief agency but not just that. God calls us to a way of life informed by the 10 Commandments. Through Jesus, we know that we embrace them and the wayof life they represent not because we fear God's punishment, but because we trust that living this life is life indeed!