From my non-scholarly reading it appears that the Israelites made a pit stop in some of the towns they came across as they wandered in the desert lands. In Numbers 21, they captured all the cities of the Amorites and “settled in them.” But shortly after, Moses sent some men out; these men utterly destroyed King Og and his family and his subjects. They conquered his lands and towns as well.
So it would seem that some of the Israelites, at least the ones not on these advance fighting parties, were able to take a rest from wandering.
But then in Numbers 22 the whole group sets out again, this time towards the plains of Moab, just east of the Jordan River.
What a life! I have made five cross-country moves in my marriage, and every one of them has been difficult. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been back then! Yet the people faithfully followed.
It is hard to follow a leader with whom you don’t agree. It is difficult to honor my husband when I think his requests are silly. I used to scoff at his desire that I turn out all the lights before leaving a room. I dislike walking into a dark room and would rather leave on a light. Besides, I heard a long time ago that it uses up more electricity to constantly turn lights on and off than to just leave them on. I was left with egg on my face when the MythBusters did a television special to determine that exact myth; it was busted. So now I turn out the lights before leaving a room IF I remember to do so. I try very hard to remember, but I admit that I do forget. Why do we forget to comply when it is not our own rule?
The key here is that obedience to those in authority over us blesses us even if we don’t understand the big picture. I don’t have to know what God has in store for our family when he tells me to get involved with a local homeless shelter — I just have to follow Him and let Him attend to the details. If He places a pit stop (or an angel) in the middle of the road, then I pray my eyes will be open enough to recognize it for what it is: a chance to glorify him through my obedience.