1Heavens, listen to me. Then I will speak.
Earth, hear the words of my mouth.
2Let my teaching fall like rain.
Let my words come down like dew.
Let them be like raindrops on new grass.
Let them be like rain on tender plants.
3I will make known the name of the Lord.
Praise God! How great he is!
4He is the Rock. His works are perfect.
All his ways are right.
He is faithful. He doesn’t do anything wrong.
He is honest and fair.
5Israel, you have sinned against him very much.
It’s too bad for you that you aren’t his children anymore.
You have become a twisted and evil nation.
6Is that how you thank the Lord?
You aren’t wise. You are foolish.
Remember, he’s your Father. He’s your Creator.
He made you. He formed you.
7Remember the days of long ago.
Think about what the Lord did through those many years.
Ask your father. He will tell you.
Ask your elders. They’ll explain it to you.
8The Most High God gave the nations their lands.
He divided up the human race.
He set up borders for the nations.
He did it based on the number of the angels in his heavenly court.
9The Lord’s people are his share.
Jacob is the nation he has received.
10The Lord found Israel in a desert.
He found them in an empty and windy land.
He took care of them and kept them safe.
He guarded them as he would guard his own eyes.
11He was like an eagle that stirs up its nest.
It hovers over its little ones.
It spreads out its wings to catch them.
It carries them up in the air on its feathers.
12The Lord was the only one who led Israel.
No other god was with them.
13The Lord made them ride on the highest places in the land.
He fed them what grew in the fields.
He gave them the sweetest honey.
He fed them olive oil from a rocky hillside.
14He gave them butter and milk from the herds and flocks.
He fed them the fattest lambs and goats.
He gave them the best of Bashan’s rams.
He fed them the finest wheat.
They drank the bubbling red juice of grapes.
15When Israel grew fat, they became stubborn.
When they were filled with food, they became fat and heavy.
They left the God who made them.
They turned away from the Rock who saved them.
16They made him jealous by serving false gods.
They made him angry by worshiping statues of gods.
He hated those gods.
17The people sacrificed to those false gods, not to God.
They hadn’t known anything about those false gods.
Those gods were new to them.
Their people of long ago didn’t worship them.
18But then they deserted the Rock. He was their Father.
They forgot the God who created them.
19When the Lord saw this, he turned away from them.
His sons and daughters made him angry.
20“I will turn my face away from them,” he said.
“I will see what will happen to them in the end.
They are sinful people.
They are unfaithful children.
21They made me jealous by serving what is not even a god.
They made me angry by worshiping worthless statues of gods.
I will use people who are not a nation to make them jealous.
A nation that has no understanding will make them angry.
22My anger will start a fire.
It will burn all the way down to the kingdom of the dead.
It will eat up the earth and its crops.
It will set the base of the mountains on fire.
23“I will pile troubles on my people.
I will shoot all my arrows at them.
24I will send them hunger. It will make them weak.
I will send terrible sickness. I will send deadly plagues.
I will send wild animals that will tear them apart.
Snakes that glide through the dust will bite them.
25In the streets their children will be killed by swords.
Their homes will be filled with terror.
The young men and women will die.
The babies and old people will die.
26I said I would scatter them.
I said I would erase their name from human memory.
27But I was afraid their enemies would make fun of that.
I was afraid their attackers would not understand.
I was sure they would say, ‘We’re the ones who’ve beaten them!
The Lord isn’t the one who did it.’ ”
28Israel is a nation that doesn’t have any sense.
They can’t understand anything.
29I wish they were wise. Then they would understand what’s coming.
They’d realize what would happen to them in the end.
30How could one person chase a thousand?
How could two make ten thousand run away?
It couldn’t happen unless their Rock had deserted them.
It couldn’t take place unless the Lord had given them up.
31Their rock is not like our Rock.
Even our enemies know that.
32Their vine comes from the vines of Sodom.
It comes from the vineyards of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison.
Their bunches of grapes taste bitter.
33Their wine is like the poison of snakes.
It’s like the deadly poison of cobras.
34The Lord says, “I have kept all those terrible things stored away.
I have kept them sealed up in my strongbox.
35I punish people. I will pay them back.
The time will come when their feet will slip.
Their day of trouble is near.
Very soon they will be destroyed.”
36The Lord will come to the aid of his people.
He’ll show tender love to those who serve him.
He will know when their strength is gone.
He’ll see that no one at all is left.
37He’ll say, “Where are their gods now?
Where is the rock they went to for safety?
38Where are the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices?
Where are the gods who drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let those gods rise up to help you!
Let them keep you safe!
39“Look! I am the One!
There is no other God except me.
I put some people to death. I bring others to life.
I have wounded, and I will heal.
No one can save you from my power.
40I raise my hand to heaven. Here is the promise I make.
You can be sure that I live forever.
41And you can be just as sure
that I will sharpen my flashing sword.
My hand will hold it when I judge.
I will get even with my enemies.
I will pay back those who hate me.
42I will make my arrows drip with blood.
My sword will destroy people.
It will kill some. It will even kill prisoners.
It will cut off the heads of enemy leaders.”
43You nations, be full of joy. Be joyful together with God’s people.
The Lord will get even with his enemies.
He will pay them back for killing those who serve him.
He will wipe away the sin of his land and people.
44Moses spoke all the words of this song to the people. Joshua, the son of Nun, was with him. 45Moses finished speaking all these words to all the Israelites. 46Then he said to them, “Think carefully about all the words I have announced to you today. I want you to command your children to be careful to obey all the words of this law. 47They aren’t just useless words for you. They are your very life. If you obey them, you will live in the land for a long time. It’s the land you are going across the Jordan River to take as your own.”
Moses Will Die on Mount Nebo
48On that same day the Lord said to Moses, 49“Go up into the Abarim mountains. Go to Mount Nebo in Moab. It is across from Jericho. From there look out over Canaan. It is the land I am giving the Israelites to take as their own. 50You will die there on the mountain you have climbed. You will join the members of your family who have already died. In the same way, your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor. He joined the members of his family who had already died. 51You and Aaron disobeyed me in front of the Israelites. It happened at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin. You did not honor me among the Israelites as the holy God. 52So you will see the land, but only from far away. You will not enter the land I am giving to the Israelites.”