It took 40 years for the Jews to complete a lesson in humility that began when they trusted men instead of God. The purpose of the wilderness wandering was not just punishment. This could have been accomplished with a plague, scorpions, snakes, or some other loathsome thing. It also wasn’t a death march.If killing off the sinful generation was the main point he could have had them swallowed up like Korah (Numbers 16:31-33). No, death and discipline were not the main focus, humility was. The Bible says the humbling was intended to test their heart, and that takes time. True humility takes to develop. But here’s the blessing in the process. Deuteronomy 8 explains that God always brings grace in the time of humiliation. The Jews experienced it. He let them hunger, but fed them manna. He made them camp, but their clothes didn’t wear out. He made them walk, but their feet didn’t swell. Humiliation was covered with grace. Every good father disciplines his son, but not to hurt him, and not even to make him appreciate the consequences of sin. Ultimately discipline should be to humble, and therefore make the person wise. It might take 40 years, but it’s worth it.