Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Then they plotted among themselves, “Let’s choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!”
—Numbers 14:1-4 NLT
This scripture talks about the Israelites after God had brought them out of Egypt. After wandering in the wilderness for a couple of years, they had finally arrived at the threshold of the Promised Land. The land flowing with milk and honey.
Keep in mind that this promise was what kept them going through some pretty harsh circumstances. Their answer to everything, I imagine, was “Just wait till we get to the Promised Land!”
It is therefore inevitable that they would have built up a mental picture of what the Promised Land would look like. After being in the desert so long, they probably pictured green rolling hills, bubbling streams, and trees rising to the sky.
Instead, they got a land inhabited by giants. The only things rising to the sky were the walls fortifying the cities. (Numbers 13:25-33)
And the people began to complain.