They have all seen my glorious presence and the miraculous signs I performed both in Egypt and in the wilderness, but again and again they have tested me by refusing to listen to my voice. Num 14:22
We saw earlier that God had been very patient with the Israelites as tehy left Egypt, but His patience is not without limits. Moses again has to plead with God to spare their lives.
Sounds like my own kids. They understand my punishments more than my kindness. They see a task ahead of them and believe they have to do it alone so they refuse. They see the punishment for disobedience and they want to turn around and obey. Unlike me, God doesn't change His mind just because they've changed theirs. Their hearts really don't trust Him to do anything other than punish them. Until they realize the love God has for them and the ways He has the power to make things happen, it will remain a continual tug-of-war. These are not people you can take into battle and expect to follow orders wholeheartedly.
As they turn back to the wilderness, they fear their children will die there. It is only they who will fall there, not their children. Their children will have to wait until their own old age to inherit the land. In time the company will move together in trust of the God who serves them, but not yet. At the end of Chapter 15, God commands them to tie blue tassels to their clothing as a constant reminder to obey God's commands rather than follow their own desires. I need those reminders too. I don't always believe God will take care of me. I'm getting better, but I'm still not there.
What do you use to remind you of God's goodness...