Old Testament Lesson
We see here the story of the second giving of the 10 Commandments. While God did punish the first generation, He allowed their children to enter into the Promised Land. God's punishment will come at the times when we deserve it, but He also has grace. And, He punishes ultimately to return us to the right path.
God's plan for His people was to bring them to the land. They had a slight detour based offer their sin and rejection, but He did bring them there. He will bring forth His plan and His will. We must make sure thought that we are living in the way that He desires so that we don't have to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.
New Testament Lesson
We see this lesson reminded to us again in Hebrews, where because of the hardness of their hearts, the people did not enter into rest. Their children did, but they did not. And, rest is what Christ offers us. He says that His yoke is easy, His burden is light. He offers rest to those of us that are weary from the world, weary from sin, weary from the things that beat us down. He offers rest. We just have to turn to Him and take His yoke. And, rest will be ours.
If we reject, however, we will never find that rest. Only in Him can we rest easy.
This is that passage that we all know so well. For God so loved the world. But, I like the verses that come, this is judgement, that men liked darkness more than light. We we choose our sin, we choose our judgement. When Christ came, He showed light, but people choose their darkness instead. God does not long or desire to judge us or condemn us. But, our sins will leave us condemned. For, if we love dark more than light, if we love sin more than grace, then we have made our own bed. And, as the old saying goes, you have to sleep in the bed you've made.