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Remember the Lord

“You must obey all the commands that I give you today, because then you will live and grow to become a great nation. You will get the land that the Lord promised to your ancestors. And you must remember the entire trip that the Lord your God has led you through these 40 years in the desert. He was testing you. He wanted to make you humble. He wanted to know what is in your heart. He wanted to know if you would obey his commands. He humbled you and let you be hungry. Then he fed you with manna—something you did not know about before. It was something your ancestors had never seen. Why did the Lord do this? Because he wanted you to know that it is not just bread that keeps people alive. People’s lives depend on what the Lord says. These past 40 years, your clothes did not wear out, and your feet did not swell. You must remember that the Lord your God teaches and corrects you as a father teaches and corrects his son.

“You must obey the commands of the Lord your God. Follow him and respect him. The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with rivers and pools of water. Water flows out of the ground in the valleys and hills. It is a land with wheat and barley, grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates. It is a land with olive oil and honey. There you will have plenty of food and everything you need. It is a land where the rocks are iron. You can dig copper out of the hills. 10 You will have all you want to eat. Then you will praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

Don’t Forget What the Lord Did

11 “Be careful. Don’t forget the Lord your God! Be careful to obey the commands, laws, and rules that I give you today. 12 Then you will have plenty to eat, and you will build good houses and live in them. 13 Your cattle, sheep, and goats will grow large. You will get plenty of gold and silver. You will have plenty of everything. 14 When that happens, you must be careful not to become proud. You must not forget the Lord your God. You were slaves in Egypt, but he made you free and brought you out of that land. 15 He led you through that great and terrible desert where there were poisonous snakes and scorpions. The ground was dry, and there was no water anywhere. But he gave you water out of a solid rock. 16 In the desert he fed you manna—something your ancestors had never seen. He tested you to make you humble so that everything would go well for you in the end. 17 Don’t ever say to yourself, ‘I got all this wealth by my own power and ability.’ 18 Remember the Lord your God is the one who gives you power to do these things. He does this because he wants to keep the agreement that he made with your ancestors, as he is doing today!

19 “Don’t ever forget the Lord your God. Don’t ever follow other gods or worship and serve them. If you do that, I warn you today: You will surely be destroyed! 20 The Lord is destroying other nations for you. But if you stop listening to the Lord your God, you will be destroyed just like them!

The Lord Will Be With Israel

“Listen, you Israelites! You will go across the Jordan River today. You will go into that land to force out nations greater and stronger than you. Their cities are big and have walls as high as the sky! The people there are tall and strong. They are the Anakites. You know about them. You heard our spies say, ‘No one can win against the Anakites.’ But you can be sure that it is the Lord your God who goes across the river before you—and God is like a fire that destroys! He will destroy those nations and make them fall before you. You will force those nations out and quickly destroy them. The Lord has promised you that this will happen.

“The Lord your God will force those nations out for you. But don’t say to yourselves, ‘The Lord brought us to live in this land because we are such good people.’ No, the Lord forced those nations out because they were evil, not because you were good. You are going in to take their land, but not because you are good and live right. You are going in, and the Lord your God is forcing those people out because of the evil way they lived. And the Lord wants to keep the promise he made to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Lord your God is giving you that good land to live in, but you should know that it is not because you are good. The truth is that you are very stubborn people!

Remember the Lord’s Anger

“Remember how you made the Lord your God angry in the desert. Never forget that! From the day you left the land of Egypt to the day you came to this place, you have refused to obey the Lord. You made the Lord angry at Mount Horeb. The Lord was angry enough to destroy you! I went up the mountain to get the stone tablets. The agreement that the Lord made with you was written on those stones. I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights. I did not eat any food or drink any water. 10 The Lord gave me the two stone tablets. He wrote his commands on the stones with his finger. The Lord wrote everything he said to you from the fire when you were gathered together at the mountain.

11 “So at the end of 40 days and 40 nights, the Lord gave me two stone tablets—the stones of the agreement. 12 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and quickly go down from here. The people you brought out of Egypt have ruined themselves. They stopped obeying my commands so quickly. They melted gold and made an idol for themselves.’

13 “The Lord also said to me, ‘I have watched these people. They are very stubborn! 14 Let me destroy these people completely, so no one will even remember their names. Then I will make another nation from you that is stronger and greater than these people.’

The Golden Calf

15 “Then I turned and came down from the mountain. The mountain was burning with fire. And the two stone tablets of the agreement were in my hands. 16 I looked and I saw you had sinned against the Lord your God. I saw the calf you made from melted gold! You stopped obeying the Lord so quickly. 17 So I took the two stone tablets and threw them down. There before your eyes I broke the stones into pieces. 18 Then I bowed down before the Lord with my face to the ground for 40 days and 40 nights, as I did before. I did not eat any food or drink any water. I did this because you had sinned so badly. You did the thing that is evil to the Lord, and you made him angry. 19 I was afraid of the Lord’s terrible anger. He was angry enough to destroy you, but the Lord listened to me again. 20 The Lord was very angry with Aaron—enough to destroy him! So I also prayed for Aaron at that time. 21 I took that terrible thing, the calf you made, and burned it in the fire. I broke it into small pieces. And I crushed the pieces until they were dust. Then I threw the dust into the river that came down from the mountain.

Moses Asks God to Forgive Israel

22 “Also, at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth Hattaavah you made the Lord angry. 23 And you did not obey when the Lord told you to leave Kadesh Barnea. He said, ‘Go up and take the land I am giving you.’ But you refused to obey the Lord your God. You did not trust him. You did not listen to his command. 24 All the time that I have known you, you have refused to obey the Lord.

25 “So I bowed down before the Lord 40 days and 40 nights, because the Lord said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to the Lord. I said, ‘Lord God, don’t destroy your people. They belong to you. You freed them and brought them out of Egypt with your great power and strength. 27 Remember your promise to your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Forget how stubborn these people are. Don’t look at their evil ways or their sins. 28 If you punish your people, the Egyptians might say, “The Lord was not able to take his people into the land he promised them. And he hated them. So he took them into the desert to kill them.” 29 But they are your people, Lord. They belong to you. You brought them out of Egypt with your great power and strength.’

New Stone Tablets

10 “At that time the Lord said to me, ‘You must cut out two stone tablets like the first two stones. Then you must come up to me on the mountain. Also make a wooden box. I will write on the stone tablets the same words that were on the first stones—the stones you broke. Then you must put these new stones in the Box.’

“So I made a box from acacia wood. I cut two stone tablets like the first two stones. Then I went up on the mountain. I had the two stone tablets in my hand. And the Lord wrote on the stones the same words he had written before—the Ten Commandments he spoke to you from the fire, when you were gathered together at the mountain. Then the Lord gave the two stone tablets to me. I came back down from the mountain. I put the stones in the Box I had made. The Lord commanded me to put them there. And the stones are still there in that Box.”

(The Israelites traveled from the wells of the people of Jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and was buried. Aaron’s son Eleazar served in Aaron’s place as priest. Then the Israelites went from Moserah to Gudgodah. And they went from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of rivers. At that time the Lord separated the tribe of Levi from the other tribes for his special work. They had the work of carrying the Lord’s Box of the Agreement. They also served as priests before the Lord. And they had the work of blessing people in the Lord’s name. They still do this special work today. That is why the people from the tribe of Levi did not get any share of land like the other tribes did. They have the Lord for their share. That is what the Lord your God promised them.)

10 “I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights, like the first time. The Lord also listened to me at that time. He decided not to destroy you. 11 The Lord said to me, ‘Go and lead the people on their trip. They will go in and live in the land that I promised to give to their ancestors.’

What the Lord Really Wants

12 “Now, Israelites, listen! What does the Lord your God really want from you? The Lord your God wants you to respect him and do what he says. He wants you to love him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 13 So obey the laws and commands of the Lord that I am giving you today. These laws and commands are for your own good.

14 “Everything belongs to the Lord your God. The heavens, even the highest heavens, belong to him. The earth and everything on it belong to him. 15 The Lord loved your ancestors very much. He loved them so much that he chose you, their descendants, to be his people. He chose you instead of any other nation, and you are still his chosen people today.

16 “Stop being stubborn. Give your hearts to God. 17 The Lord is your God. He is the God of gods and the Lord of lords. He is the great God. He is the amazing and powerful fighter. To him everyone is the same. He does not accept money to change his mind. 18 He defends widows and orphans. He loves even the strangers living among us. He gives them food and clothes. 19 So you must also love them, because you yourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt.

20 “You must respect the Lord your God and worship only him. Never leave him. When you make promises, you must use his name only. 21 He is the one you should praise. He is your God. He has done great and amazing things for you. You have seen them with your own eyes. 22 When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only 70 people. Now the Lord your God has made you as many as the stars in the sky.

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