Not loving the Lord God and His truth is what sent the Hebrew people back into a wilderness of trial and wanderings. That was not what God had in mind for them. Just listening to God's word and following would bring great benefit and joy. But that wasn't the result and it wasn't God's choice but theirs.
Forty years passed and it's time to bring the next generation back into the promises of God full of hope. Before entering what God provides, there had to be some things put before them as a warning so they wouldn't follow the same path as their parents and grandparents. It was a matter of life and death for them. God gave them seven "ites" to destroy completely. They were the Hittities, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, the Hivites and Jebusites. (Deut. 7:1-2) These nations were to be removed in favor of His people and they were greater and strong than Israel. God promised to be the power to remove these nations if His people would listen and heed. These "ites" God knew would influence them away from Himself to follow their teachings and thoughts. These "ites" were a great danger to their spiritual survival. These "ites" had different beliefs. These "ites" ended up taking Israel away from God and His promises and they eventually were destroyed.
This is a very difficult lesson for us to learn today with all the teaching and books floating around in our religious world. There seems to be little discernment and if we speak of "contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) it gets people into an uproar. But if we would be a people seeking, searching and listening to the truth as spoken from God, the gain for us is great. In our nation, voices are speaking all around. Believe this. Believe that. Here's a new writing with new insight. Just as Israel faced their "ites" we too have many "ites" facing us. The struggle for truth and spiritual survival remains the same today. The truth from God's word seems to get lost. Preaching/teaching from God and His word gets lost in all the stories and videos. The "ites" aren't driven out and as they have rested among us, truth is obscured. Many aren't bothered. Many believe it's part of God. Peter heralded to the saints that there are going to be those who secretly introduce destructive heresies (II Pet. 2:1). What is a heresy? It's a self-willed opinion that is substituted for the truth! But it doesn't end there. Peter goes on to say that many will follow their sensuality and the way of truth, it will be maligned (II Pet. 2:2). Peter knew it. The other apostles knew it. Jesus knew it.
I'm not saying I have all the answers but this I can say, just as the "ites" took down Israel and kept them from God's intentions we too have the same message of "ites" around us. God's word is no longer enough. His simplicity and purity have been made obscure. People are running everywhere to what's new and 'fun' while the word of God is limited or left out. When is the last time you sat down and just read the word of the Lord without any helps or your own ideas placed in it? Just simply read and heed? Too many are wandering in the wilderness with no clue why things are the way they are. Listen to the truth of the Lord with all your heart!