So love God, your God; guard well his rules and regulations; obey his commandments for the rest of time.
Today it's very clear that it isn't your children who are front and center here: They weren't in on what God did, didn't see the acts, didn't experience the discipline, didn't marvel at his greatness, the way he displayed his power in the miracle-signs and deeds
that he let loose in Egypt on Pharaoh king of Egypt and all his land,
the way he took care of the Egyptian army, its horses and chariots, burying them in the waters of the Red Sea as they pursued you. God drowned them. And you're standing here today alive.
Nor was it your children who saw how God took care of you in the wilderness up until the time you arrived here,
what he did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab son of Reuben, how the Earth opened its jaws and swallowed them with their families - their tents, and everything around them - right out of the middle of Israel.
Yes, it was you - your eyes - that saw every great thing that God did.
So it's you who are in charge of keeping the entire commandment that I command you today so that you'll have the strength to invade and possess the land that you are crossing the river to make your own.
Your obedience will give you a long life on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors and their children, a land flowing with milk and honey.
The land you are entering to take up ownership isn't like Egypt, the land you left, where you had to plant your own seed and water it yourselves as in a vegetable garden.
But the land you are about to cross the river and take for your own is a land of mountains and valleys; it drinks water that rains from the sky.
It's a land that God, your God, personally tends - he's the gardener - he alone keeps his eye on it all year long.
From now on if you listen obediently to the commandments that I am commanding you today, love God, your God, and serve him with everything you have within you,
he'll take charge of sending the rain at the right time, both autumn and spring rains, so that you'll be able to harvest your grain, your grapes, your olives.
He'll make sure there's plenty of grass for your animals. You'll have plenty to eat.
But be vigilant, lest you be seduced away and end up serving and worshiping other gods
and God erupts in anger and shuts down Heaven so there's no rain and nothing grows in the fields, and in no time at all you're starved out - not a trace of you left on the good land that God is giving you.
Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder.
Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night.
Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities
so that you'll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.
That's right. If you diligently keep all this commandment that I command you to obey - love God, your God, do what he tells you, stick close to him -
God on his part will drive out all these nations that stand in your way. Yes, he'll drive out nations much bigger and stronger than you.
Every square inch on which you place your foot will be yours. Your borders will stretch from the wilderness to the mountains of Lebanon, from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.
No one will be able to stand in your way. Everywhere you go, God-sent fear and trembling will precede you, just as he promised.
I've brought you today to the crossroads of Blessing and Curse.
The Blessing: if you listen obediently to the commandments of God, your God, which I command you today.
The Curse: if you don't pay attention to the commandments of God, your God, but leave the road that I command you today, following other gods of which you know nothing.
Here's what comes next: When God, your God, brings you into the land you are going into to make your own, you are to give out the Blessing from Mount Gerizim and the Curse from Mount Ebal.
After you cross the Jordan River, follow the road to the west through Canaanite settlements in the valley near Gilgal and the Oaks of Moreh.
You are crossing the Jordan River to invade and take the land that God, your God, is giving you.
Be vigilant. Observe all the regulations and rules I am setting before you today.
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)