Moses speaks to the people, highlighting some of the events over the past 40 years. One of the things that stands out to me is the response of the people when the spies report “It is a good land that
the LORD our God is giving us.” The people grumble and say things like God hates us and brought us from Egypt to have the Amorites destroy us. Moses tells them not to be afraid, that God will fight for them just as He did in Egypt and in the wilderness. Moses mentioned the fire by night and the cloud by day that the people who were grumbling would have seen many times.
In response to this grumbling, God says now you are not going.
Now everyone is sorry. Then say “We have sinned against the LORD. We will go up and fight, as the LORD our God commands us.” God tells them not to go and fight because God will not be with them and they will lose. But that doesn’t matter to them. They are still not willing to submit to God. They go and fight on their own and are defeated.
Hidden in this event is a key. Those who have ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart to accept it can see “the secret of the kingdom of God” in this passage.