Listen, Israel. You will soon cross the Jordan River to go in and force out nations that are bigger and stronger than you. They have large cities with walls up to the sky.
The people there are Anakites, who are strong and tall. You know about them, and you have heard it said: "No one can stop the Anakites."
But today remember that the Lord your God goes in before you to destroy them like a fire that burns things up. He will defeat them ahead of you, and you will force them out and destroy them quickly, just as the Lord has said.
After the Lord your God has forced those nations out ahead of you, don't say to yourself, "The Lord brought me here to take this land because I am so good." No! It is because these nations are evil that the Lord will force them out ahead of you.
You are going in to take the land, not because you are good and honest, but because these nations are evil. That is why the Lord your God will force them out ahead of you, to keep his promise to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Lord your God is giving you this good land to take as your own. But know this: It is not because you are good; you are a stubborn people.
Remember this and do not forget it: You made the Lord your God angry in the desert. You would not obey the Lord from the day you left Egypt until you arrived here.
At Mount Sinai you made the Lord angry -- angry enough to destroy you.
When I went up on the mountain to receive the stone tablets, the tablets with the Agreement the Lord had made with you, I stayed on the mountain for forty days and forty nights; I did not eat bread or drink water.
The Lord gave me two stone tablets, which God had written on with his own finger. On them were all the commands that the Lord gave to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day you were gathered there.
When the forty days and forty nights were over, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets with the Agreement on them.
Then the Lord told me, "Get up and go down quickly from here, because the people you brought out from Egypt are ruining themselves. They have quickly turned away from what I commanded and have made an idol for themselves."
The Lord said to me, "I have watched these people, and they are very stubborn!
Get away so that I may destroy them and make the whole world forget who they are. Then I will make another nation from you that will be bigger and stronger than they are."
So I turned and came down the mountain that was burning with fire, and the two stone tablets with the Agreement were in my hands.
When I looked, I saw you had sinned against the Lord your God and had made an idol in the shape of a calf. You had quickly turned away from what the Lord had told you to do.
So I took the two stone tablets and threw them down, breaking them into pieces right in front of you.
Then I again bowed facedown on the ground before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I did not eat bread or drink water. You had sinned by doing what the Lord said was evil, and you made him angry.
I was afraid of the Lord's anger and rage, because he was angry enough with you to destroy you, but the Lord listened to me again.
And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but then I prayed for Aaron, too.
I took that sinful calf idol you had made and burned it in the fire. I crushed it into a powder like dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.
You also made the Lord angry at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth Hattaavah.
Then the Lord sent you away from Kadesh Barnea and said, "Go up and take the land I have given you." But you rejected the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him.
You have refused to obey the Lord as long as I have known you.
The Lord had said he would destroy you, so I threw myself down in front of him for those forty days and forty nights.
I prayed to the Lord and said, "Lord God, do not destroy your people, your own people, whom you freed and brought out of Egypt by your great power and strength.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Don't look at how stubborn these people are, and don't look at their sin and evil.
Otherwise, Egypt will say, 'It was because the Lord was not able to take his people into the land he promised them, and it was because he hated them that he took them into the desert to kill them.'
But they are your people, Lord, your own people, whom you brought out of Egypt with your great power and strength."