Because of their refusal to follow God, He announced that they would have a 40-year hiatus in the wilderness before their children would enter the land (Num. 14:33).
Pressing Forward without God’s Presence
Amazingly, the people then announced a change of heart and a resolve to enter!
But Moses warned them:
Do not go up [into the land], or you will be struck down before your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. —Numbers 14:42
At first, the Israelites had refused to follow God, but now they refused to wait on Him. Moses’ warning proved true. As they ascended the hill country— without God—they got the whipping they initially feared.