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The history of Israel during the forty years between the nation's exodus from Egypt and its entry into Canaan (as contained in the books from Exodus through Deuteronomy) was a continuing succession of the Israelites grumbling or even rebelling against Moses (and, by extension, God). Although God periodically (and totally justifiably) punished the people for their behavior (most notably and generally by requiring the entire nation to wander for those forty years until all the adults (except Joshua and Caleb and their families) had died in the wilderness, He never completely forsook them, but gave them an abiding assurance of His presence among them, as indicated by the manna with which He fed them, as well as the appearance of a pillar of cloud during the day, and a flame of fire at night. Even so, the people still needed to be continually reminded and reassured of God's presence. In preparing to enter to Canaan, the Israelites were going to face multiple powerful nations that would use armed force to try to prevent them from doing so. They would thus need God's help as they never had before. Moses, knowing that he would no longer be among them to lead them (as God had decreed in Numbers 20:2-13), gave to Israel the review cited in the question, for the combined purposes of giving them the faith in God that would be needed for them to succeed in their conquest, and for reminding them of the consequences of disobeying God's directions and commands. (This was especially appropriate since the Israelites who remained at that time would largely not have been old enough to have a personal memory of the events of which Moses was speaking.)
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