Moses then reminded the Jewish people that after they heard of G‑d’s plan to keep them in the desert for 40 years, some of them organized their own army and attempted to enter the Land of Israel on their own. But because they went against G‑d’s will and lacked Moses’ leadership, the nations who lived near the border of the land repulsed them.

The Path to Redemption
וַתַּמְרוּ אֶת פִּי ה' וַתָּזִדוּ וַתַּעֲלוּ הָהָרָה: (דברים א:מג)
[Moses told the people,] “You rebelled against G‑d’s command and willfully ascended to the mountain.” Deuteronomy 1:43

These Jews had repented from the sin of the spies and now wanted to ascend to the Holy Land. Why was this wrong? We are taught that nothing ever stands in the way of repentance.

The answer is that the Land of Israel could only be conquered with the ark’s presence and Moses’ leadership. Repentance could erase the sins of the people, but it could not change the procedure necessary to acquire the land. Since these people were unwilling to submit to Moses’ leadership and wanted to conquer the land on their own, G‑d rejected their initiative.

The same is true in our day. The Torah has prescribed a precise procedure for the Messianic Redemption – as well as for all forms of personal redemption. Any attempt to bypass steps in the redemptive process is doomed to failure. Hastening the Redemption, just like success in any endeavor, is possible only when our approach conforms with G‑d’s plan. Hence the importance of studying the Torah ourselves and seeking out the guidance of qualified Torah scholars in all aspects of our lives.1