Remember the Lord
1“So you must love the Lord your God. You must do what he tells you to do and always obey his laws, rules, and commands. 2Remember today all the great things the Lord your God has done to teach you. It was you, not your children, who saw those things happen and lived through them. You saw how great he is. You saw how strong he is, and you saw the powerful things he does. 3You, not your children, saw the miracles he did in Egypt. You saw what he did to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and to his whole country. 4You, not your children, saw what he did to the Egyptian army—to their horses and chariots. They were chasing you, but you saw him cover them with the water from the Red Sea. You saw how the Lord completely destroyed them. 5It was you, not your children, who saw everything he did for you in the desert until you came to this place. 6You saw what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab from Reuben’s family. All the Israelites watched as the ground opened up like a mouth and swallowed them, their families, their tents, and all of their servants and animals. 7It was you, not your children, who saw all the great things the Lord did.
8“So you must obey every command I tell you today. Then you will be strong. And you will be able to go across the Jordan River and take the land that you are ready to enter. 9Then you will live a long life in that country. The Lord promised to give that land to your ancestors and all their descendants. It is a land filled with many good things.#11:9 land … things Literally, “land flowing with milk and honey.” 10The land that you will get is not like the land of Egypt that you came from. In Egypt you planted your seeds and used your feet to pump water from the canals to water your fields like a vegetable garden. 11But the land that you will soon get is not like that. In Israel there are mountains and valleys, and the land gets its water from the rain that falls from the sky. 12The Lord your God cares for that land. The Lord your God watches over it, from the beginning to the end of the year.
13“The Lord says, ‘You must listen carefully to the commands I give you today: You must love the Lord your God, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul. If you do that, 14I will send rain for your land at the right time. I will send the autumn rain and the spring rain. Then you can gather your grain, your new wine, and your oil. 15And I will make grass grow in your fields for your cattle. You will have plenty to eat.’
16“He says, ‘Be careful! Don’t be fooled. Don’t turn away from me to serve other gods and to bow down to them.’ 17If you do that, the Lord will become very angry with you. He will shut the skies, and there will be no rain. The land will not make a harvest, and you will soon die in the good land that the Lord is giving you.
18“Remember these commands I give you. Keep them in your hearts. Write them down and tie them on your hands and wear them on your foreheads as a way to remember my laws. 19Teach these laws to your children. Talk about these things when you sit in your houses, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. 20Write these commands on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates. 21Then both you and your children will live a long time in the land that the Lord promised to give to your ancestors. You will live there as long as the skies are above the earth.
22“Be careful to obey every command I have told you to follow: Love the Lord your God, follow all his ways, and be faithful to him. 23Then, when you go into the land, the Lord will force all those other nations out. You will take the land from nations that are larger and more powerful than you. 24All the land you walk on will be yours. Your land will go from the desert in the south all the way to Lebanon in the north. It will go from the Euphrates River in the east all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. 25No one will be able to stand against you. The Lord your God will make the people fear you wherever you go in that land. That is what he promised you before.
Israel’s Choice: Blessings or Curses
26“Today I am giving you a choice. You may choose the blessing or the curse. 27You will get the blessing if you listen and obey the commands of the Lord your God that I have told you today. 28But you will get the curse if you refuse to listen and obey the commands of the Lord your God. So don’t stop living the way I command you today, and don’t follow other gods that you don’t know.
29“The Lord your God will lead you to your land. You will soon go in and take that land. At that time you must go to the top of Mount Gerizim and read the blessings to the people from there. And then you must go to the top of Mount Ebal and read the curses to the people from there. 30These mountains are on the other side of the Jordan River in the land of the Canaanites living in the Jordan Valley. These mountains are toward the west, not far from the oak trees of Moreh near the town of Gilgal. 31You will go across the Jordan River. You will take the land that the Lord your God is giving you. This land will belong to you. When you are living in this land, 32you must carefully obey all the laws and rules I give you today.