These are the terms of the Covenant that God commanded Moses to make with the People of Israel in the land of Moab, renewing the Covenant he made with them at Horeb.
Moses called all Israel together and said, You've seen with your own eyes everything that God did in Egypt to Pharaoh and his servants, and to the land itself -
the massive trials to which you were eyewitnesses, the great signs and miracle-wonders.
But God didn't give you an understanding heart or perceptive eyes or attentive ears until right now, this very day.
I took you through the wilderness for forty years and through all that time the clothes on your backs didn't wear out, the sandals on your feet didn't wear out,
and you lived well without bread and wine and beer, proving to you that I am in fact God, your God.
When you arrived here in this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan met us primed for war but we beat them.
We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.
Diligently keep the words of this Covenant. Do what they say so that you will live well and wisely in every detail.
You are all standing here today in the Presence of God, your God - the heads of your tribes, your leaders, your officials, all Israel:
your babies, your wives, the resident foreigners in your camps who fetch your firewood and water
- ready to cross over into the solemnly sworn Covenant that God, your God, is making with you today,
the Covenant that this day confirms that you are his people and he is God, your God, just as he promised you and your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
I'm not making this Covenant and its oath with you alone.
I am making it with you who are standing here today in the Presence of God, our God, yes, but also with those who are not here today.
You know the conditions in which we lived in Egypt and how we crisscrossed through nations in our travels.
You got an eyeful of their obscenities, their wood and stone, silver and gold junk-gods.
Don't let down your guard lest even now, today, someone - man or woman, clan or tribe - gets sidetracked from God, our God, and gets involved with the no-gods of the nations; lest some poisonous weed sprout and spread among you,
a person who hears the words of the Covenant-oath but exempts himself, thinking, "I'll live just the way I please, thank you," and ends up ruining life for everybody.
God won't let him off the hook. God's anger and jealousy will erupt like a volcano against that person. The curses written in this book will bury him. God will delete his name from the records.
God will separate him out from all the tribes of Israel for special punishment, according to all the curses of the Covenant written in this Book of Revelation.
The next generation, your children who come after you and the foreigner who comes from a far country, will be appalled when they see the widespread devastation, how God made the whole land sick.
They'll see a fire-blackened wasteland of brimstone and salt flats, nothing planted, nothing growing, not so much as a blade of grass anywhere - like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which God overthrew in fiery rage.
All the nations will ask, "Why did God do this to this country? What on earth could have made him this angry?"
Your children will answer, "Because they abandoned the Covenant of the God of their ancestors that he made with them after he got them out of Egypt;
they went off and worshiped other gods, submitted to gods they'd never heard of before, gods they had no business dealing with.
So God's anger erupted against that land and all the curses written in this book came down on it.
God, furiously angry, pulled them, roots and all, out of their land and dumped them in another country, as you can see."
God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It's up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation.
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)