Moses continued his speech to the Israelites by pointing out that God was not giving them the Promised Land because of their own righteousness. It was because of the wickedness of the inhabitants and to fulfill His own promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He reminded them of the various transgressions that they had committed during their forty years wandering.
When Moses had returned from Mount Sinai with the first two tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments, he threw them to the ground and broke them because the people were worshipping a golden calf. He had pled with God on various occasions to spare the Israelites when He had threatened to destroy them. It had been necessary for Moses to return to the mountain to receive a second set of the Ten Commandment tablets. Those were stored in a wooden ark that God had Moses to make for them.
After reviewing the sins of the people, Moses strongly urged them to keep the commandments of their supreme Ruler, God. Circumcision was a physical reminder of their covenant with God. Moses also urged that they spiritually circumcise their hearts. If they would obey, the Lord would bless them abundantly. Disobedience would bring His wrath and destruction. They were instructed to teach their children all that God had commanded. Teaching children is a responsibility of every parent and is often neglected.
Moses further emphasized his instructions by stating, “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God…And you shall be careful to observe all the statutes and judgments which I set before you today.”