Everyone has a past. The nations of Canaan had a wicked past and God, at the hand of the Israelites was going to destroy everything about them because of this wickedness. They and their gods were to be completely removed, but it would not all happen at once, “lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.” Marrying the children of those heathen people was strictly forbidden. That was also to protect His people from following after those false gods.
Moses reminded the Israelites of God’s care and protection during the forty years of wilderness wandering. He fed them; kept their clothing from wearing out; gave them physical strength to endure the journey. The Lord also punished those who disobeyed Him along the way.
As the children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land, Moses reminded them of the difficulties that they had endured. He pointed out the great abundance of natural resources that would be available to them in their new home. However, disobedience would cause them to be punished just as they were, with God’s power punishing the Canaanites. Moses also admonished them to remember the present—how that God was giving those blessings to them. They would not be obtaining them by their own power.