The Lord Will Be with Israel
1Listen, Israel. You will soon cross the Jordan River to go in and force out nations that are bigger and stronger than you. They have large cities with walls up to the sky. 2The people there are Anakites, who are strong and tall. You know about them, and you have heard it said: “No one can stop the Anakites.” 3But today remember that the Lord your God goes in before you to destroy them like a fire that burns things up. He will defeat them ahead of you, and you will force them out and destroy them quickly, just as the Lord has said.
4After the Lord your God has forced those nations out ahead of you, don’t say to yourself, “The Lord brought me here to take this land because I am so good.” No! It is because these nations are evil that the Lord will force them out ahead of you. 5You are going in to take the land, not because you are good and honest, but because these nations are evil. That is why the Lord your God will force them out ahead of you, to keep his promise to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6The Lord your God is giving you this good land to take as your own. But know this: It is not because you are good; you are a stubborn people.
Remember the Lord’s Anger
7Remember this and do not forget it: You made the Lord your God angry in the desert. You would not obey the Lord from the day you left Egypt until you arrived here. 8At Mount Sinai you made the Lord angry—angry enough to destroy you. 9When I went up on the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets with the Agreement the Lord had made with you, I stayed on the mountain for forty days and forty nights; I did not eat bread or drink water. 10The Lord gave me two stone tablets, which God had written on with his own finger. On them were all the commands that the Lord gave to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day you were gathered there.
11When the forty days and forty nights were over, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets with the Agreement on them. 12Then the Lord told me, “Get up and go down quickly from here, because the people you brought out from Egypt are ruining themselves. They have quickly turned away from what I commanded and have made an idol for themselves.”
13The Lord said to me, “I have watched these people, and they are very stubborn! 14Get away so that I may destroy them and make the whole world forget who they are. Then I will make another nation from you that will be bigger and stronger than they are.”
15So I turned and came down the mountain that was burning with fire, and the two stone tablets with the Agreement were in my hands. 16When I looked, I saw you had sinned against the Lord your God and had made an idol in the shape of a calf. You had quickly turned away from what the Lord had told you to do. 17So I took the two stone tablets and threw them down, breaking them into pieces right in front of you.
18Then I again bowed facedown on the ground before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I did not eat bread or drink water. You had sinned by doing what the Lord said was evil, and you made him angry. 19I was afraid of the Lord’s anger and rage, because he was angry enough with you to destroy you, but the Lord listened to me again. 20And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but then I prayed for Aaron, too. 21I took that sinful calf idol you had made and burned it in the fire. I crushed it into a powder like dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.
22You also made the Lord angry at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth Hattaavah.
23Then the Lord sent you away from Kadesh Barnea and said, “Go up and take the land I have given you.” But you rejected the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him. 24You have refused to obey the Lord as long as I have known you.
25The Lord had said he would destroy you, so I threw myself down in front of him for those forty days and forty nights. 26I prayed to the Lord and said, “Lord God, do not destroy your people, your own people, whom you freed and brought out of Egypt by your great power and strength. 27Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Don’t look at how stubborn these people are, and don’t look at their sin and evil. 28Otherwise, Egypt will say, ‘It was because the Lord was not able to take his people into the land he promised them, and it was because he hated them that he took them into the desert to kill them.’ 29But they are your people, Lord, your own people, whom you brought out of Egypt with your great power and strength.”