Listen, Israel, you're about to cross the Jordan River. You'll be forcing out nations that are larger and stronger than you, with big cities that have sky-high walls.
Their people are tall and strong. They're descendants of Anak. You know all about them. You've also heard it said, "Who can oppose the descendants of Anak?"
Realize today that the LORD your God is the one who is going ahead of you like a raging fire. He will wipe them out and will use you to crush their power. You will take possession of their land and will quickly destroy them as the LORD promised you.
When the LORD your God expels these people in front of you, don't say to yourselves, "Because we've been living right, the LORD brought us here to take possession of this land." No, it's because these nations are so wicked that the LORD is forcing them out of your way.
It's not because you've been living right or because you're so honest that you're entering to take possession of their land. It's because these people are so wicked that the LORD your God is forcing them out of your way. It's also because the LORD wants to confirm the promise he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
So understand this: It's not because you've been living right that the LORD your God is giving you this good land to possess. You are impossible to deal with!
Never forget how you made the LORD your God angry in the desert. You've rebelled against the LORD from the day you left Egypt until you came here.
Even at Mount Horeb you made the LORD so angry that he wanted to destroy you.
When I went up on the mountain to get the stone tablets, the tablets of the promise that the LORD made to you, I stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights without food or water.
Then the LORD gave me the two stone tablets inscribed by God himself. On them were written all the words that the LORD spoke to you from the fire on the mountain on the day of the assembly.
At the end of the 40 days and 40 nights, the LORD gave me the two stone tablets with his promise on them.
He told me, "Leave right away. Your people whom you brought out of Egypt have ruined [everything]. They've quickly turned from the way I commanded them to live. They've made an idol for themselves."
The LORD also said to me, "I've seen these people, and they are impossible to deal with.
Leave me alone! I'll destroy them and wipe their name off the earth. Then I'll make you into a nation larger and stronger than they are."
So I turned and went down the mountain while it was still burning with fire. I was carrying the two tablets with the promise on them.
Then I saw that you had sinned against the LORD your God. You had made a statue of a calf for yourselves. You had quickly turned from the way the LORD commanded you to live.
I took the two tablets, threw them down, and smashed them in front of you.
Once again I threw myself down in front of the LORD. I went without food and water for 40 days and 40 nights because of the sin you committed. You did what the LORD considered evil and made him furious.
I was terrified of the LORD's anger and fury. He was so angry he wanted to destroy you. But once more the LORD listened to me.
The LORD also became very angry with Aaron and wanted to destroy him. But at that time I prayed for Aaron, too.
I took that sinful calf you made and burned it. I crushed it, grinding it thoroughly until it was as fine as powder. Then I threw the powder into the river that flowed down the mountain.
You also made the LORD angry at Taberah, Massah, and Kibroth Hattaavah.
When the LORD sent you from Kadesh Barnea, he said, "Go and take possession of the land I'm giving you." But you rebelled against the word of the LORD your God. You didn't believe him or obey him.
You've rebelled against the LORD as long as I've known you.
I threw myself down in front of the LORD for 40 days and 40 nights because the LORD said he would destroy you.
I prayed to the LORD and said, "Almighty LORD, don't destroy your people. They belong to you. You saved them by your great power and used your mighty hand to bring them out of Egypt.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Disregard the stubbornness, wickedness, and sin of these people.
Otherwise, the country we left will say, "The LORD wasn't able to bring them to the land he promised them. He hated them. That's why he brought them out--to let them die in the desert."
They are your people. They belong to you. You used your great strength and powerful arm to bring them out [of Egypt].