The Israelites had spent almost a year near Mt. Sinai -- but now their time there was coming to and end. The tabernacle had been built. A census taken. And now the order had been given to move on.
But in less than two months, it all fell apart.
- First, there was grumbling among the riff-raff -- grumbling bad enough that Moses threatened to quit.
- Then Aaron and Miriam began a whispering campaign against Moses -- a campaign so serious that God had to reprimand the two of them in public.
- And when the Israelites' chosen leaders came back from scouting out the Promised Land, ten of the twelve said they'd all be better off if they just went back to Egypt!
Leaving Sinai was a welcome move, after all, but it was a move -- a move that required the Israelites to set aside old habits and learn new ones. With their normal routines disrupted, it's no wonder that some of these people became irritable. Fearful. And desperate for something familiar . . .
Even if it was Egypt.
In short, change is not always welcome -- even if it's necessary. No, it usually brings with it a host of complaints (not to mention whispering campaigns). And all too often, it ends with a overwhelming majority voting to forget the whole thing and go back to the way it used to be.
Not that this will ever happen to you.
But it happened to Moses.
And eventually, things reached a point where all Moses could do was hunker down and wait 40-years for a new generation to come along.
No, things had been going well.
But that didn't mean the people were willing to move on.