Deuteronomy 1:1-7 New International Version (NIV)
The Command to Leave Horeb
1 These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan—that is, in the Arabah—opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. 2 (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb to Kadesh Barnea by the Mount Seir road.)
3 In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses proclaimed to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them. 4 This was after he had defeated Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, and at Edrei had defeated Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.
5 East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab, Moses began to expound this law, saying:
6 The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites; go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah, in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, as far as the great river, the Euphrates.
The Israelites spent 40 years on a journey that should have lasted 11 days. It took so long because of the condition of their hearts. The purpose of God was to transform the people and prepare them to live in obedience. The journey was painful but necessary to prepare them. God taught the Israelites who he was. Are you on a lengthy pilgrimage? Are you facing pain? Maybe you are facing discouragement and difficulties. Remember God is with you. He is for you and not against you. You are being transformed. God wants to prepare you to live for service and devotion to him.