Deuteronomy 1:2-3 KJV
(There are eleven days' journey from Horeb by the way of mount Seir unto Kadeshbarnea.)
And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;
Talk about taking the long way! Israel took forty years to make what amounts to an eleven day trip.
The long way was marked by:
Complaints and murmurs
They were almost never satisfied with where they were or the provisions they had.
Accusations and attacks
They blamed their circumstances on Moses, Aaron and ultimately on God.
Death and disease
Plagues of various sorts took them in large numbers but even when there wasn’t a plague there was simple attrition. In a forty-year period of time the body wears out.
All because of unbelief
Israel could have experienced blessing beyond compare. They could have known peace and rest. Instead they wandered the long way toward God's plan for them.
I wonder how many today are on the long road to Gods will because they choose not to believe?