"God's anger smoked against Israel. He made them wander in the wilderness for forty years, until that entire generation that acted out evil in his sight had died out.
"And now here you are, just one more mob of sinners stepping up to replace your ancestors, throwing fuel on the already blazing anger of God against Israel.
If you won't follow him, he'll do it again. He'll dump them in the desert and the disaster will be all your fault."
They came close to him and said, "All we want to do is build corrals for our livestock and towns for our families.
Then we'll take up arms and take the front lines, leading the People of Israel to their place. We'll be able to leave our families behind, secure in fortified towns, safe from those who live in the land.
But we won't go back home until every Israelite is in full possession of his inheritance.
We won't expect any inheritance west of the Jordan; we are claiming all our inheritance east of the Jordan."
Moses said, "If you do what you say, take up arms before God for battle
and together go across the Jordan ready, before God, to fight until God has cleaned his enemies out of the land,
then when the land is secure you will have fulfilled your duty to God and Israel. Then this land will be yours to keep before God.
"But if you don't do what you say, you will be sinning against God; you can be sure that your sin will track you down.
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)