"Now get yourselves ready. I'm sending my Angel ahead of you to guard you in your travels, to lead you to the place that I've prepared.
Pay close attention to him. Obey him. Don't go against him. He won't put up with your rebellions because he's acting on my authority.
But if you obey him and do everything I tell you, I'll be an enemy to your enemies, I'll fight those who fight you.
When my Angel goes ahead of you and leads you to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, I'll clear the country of them.
So don't worship or serve their gods; don't do anything they do because I'm going to wipe them right off the face of the Earth and smash their sacred phallic pillars to bits.
"But you - you serve your God and he'll bless your food and your water. I'll get rid of the sickness among you;
there won't be any miscarriages nor barren women in your land. I'll make sure you live full and complete lives.
"I'll send my Terror on ahead of you and throw those peoples you're approaching into a panic. All you'll see of your enemies is the backs of their necks.
"And I'll send Despair on ahead of you. It will push the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites out of your way.
I won't get rid of them all at once lest the land grow up in weeds and the wild animals take over.
Little by little I'll get them out of there while you have a chance to get your crops going and make the land your own.
I will make your borders stretch from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Wilderness to the Euphrates River. I'm turning everyone living in that land over to you; go ahead and drive them out.
"Don't make any deals with them or their gods.
They are not to stay in the same country with you lest they get you to sin by worshiping their gods. Beware. That's a huge danger."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)