Love and obey the Lord
1 Love the Lord your God. Do what he tells you to do. Always obey his rules, his laws and his commands. 2 Remember that today I am speaking to you who have seen his powerful acts! Your children did not see the great things that the Lord your God did to teach you. You saw for yourselves how great, strong and powerful he is. 3 But your children did not see the great miracles that he did in Egypt. He punished Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and all his people. 4 You saw how God destroyed Egypt's army, with all their horses and chariots. They were chasing after you to catch you. But God caused the water of the Red Sea to cover them, so that they drowned. 5 Your children did not see all the things that the Lord did in the desert as he brought you here. 6 They did not see how he punished Dathan and Abiram, Eliab's sons, from Reuben's tribe. God caused the earth to open up in the middle of the Israelites' camp. These men fell down into the hole and they disappeared. Their families, their tents and everything that they had all disappeared in the hole. 7 Remember that I am speaking to you, the people who have seen the Lord's powerful acts.
God's blessings in Canaan
8 So you must obey all the commands that I am giving to you today. If you do that, you will be able to go across the Jordan River into Canaan. You will be strong enough to take the land for yourselves and live there. 9 Then you will enjoy a long life in that land. It is the land that the Lord promised to give to your ancestors and to their descendants. It is a land where there is plenty of food and drink, enough for everyone.
10 The land that you are going into is not like the land of Egypt, where you lived before. There, when you planted seeds, you had to take water to them. It was like a garden where you grow vegetables. 11 But now you are going across the Jordan River into a different kind of land. It has hills and valleys. Rain falls from the sky and makes the ground wet. 12 The Lord your God takes care of the land there. He watches over it every day, through the whole year.
13 So listen carefully to the commands that I am giving to you today. Love the Lord your God and serve him in everything that you think and in everything that you do. 14 If you do that, he makes this promise to you: ‘I will send rain on your land at the right time each year. There will be rain in autumn and rain in spring. Then your crops will give you food. You will also have grapes to make wine and olives to make oil. 15 I will make grass grow in your fields for your animals to eat. You will have as much food as you want to eat.’
11:14Most plants in Canaan needed two seasons of rain to grow. It rained in the autumn and it rained in the spring.
16 But be careful! Do not turn away from the Lord so that you worship other gods. Do not let those things deceive you. 17 If you do that, the Lord will be very angry with you. He will not send rain down from the sky. The land will no longer give you food to eat. Then you will soon die. You will no longer be able to live in the good land that the Lord is giving to you.
18 Continue to think carefully about these commands in everything that you do. Tie them as signs onto your hands so that you remember them. Also tie them around your heads. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit together at home. Talk about them as you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the wood beside the doors of your houses and on your gates. 21 Do these things so that you and your descendants will live long lives in the land. It is the land that the Lord promised to give to your ancestors. You will continue to live there while there is still a sky above the earth.
22 Be careful to obey these commands that I am giving to you. Love the Lord your God. Live in a way that pleases him. Be faithful to him.
23 If you do that, the Lord will chase out all those nations as you move into the land. They are greater and stronger than you are, but you will take the land from them. 24 Every piece of ground that you walk on will belong to you. The borders of your land will go from the desert in the south as far as Lebanon in the north. They will go from the Euphrates river in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 25 Nobody will be able to stop you. The Lord your God will cause everyone in the other nations to be afraid of you. They will shake with fear. He has promised to do that, everywhere that you go in the land.
26 Today I am telling you to choose. Do you want God to bless you? Or do you want God to curse you? 27 The Lord your God will bless you if you obey his commands that I am giving to you today. 28 But he will curse you if you refuse to obey his commands. If you turn away from him and you serve other gods that are new to you, he will curse you! 29 When the Lord brings you into the land where you will live, do this: Speak aloud God's blessings from Mount Gerizim. Speak his curses from Mount Ebal. 30 You know where these mountains are. They are west of the Jordan River, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Jordan Valley. They are near Gilgal town, where the oak trees of Moreh are.
31 Soon you will go across the Jordan River. You will take for yourselves the land that the Lord your God is giving to you. It will belong to you as your home. 32 When you are there, be careful to obey his laws and his teaching that I am giving to you today.