There were two routes to Canaan, the nearest through the land of the Philistines; but to take that would have exposed the Hebrews to the very sights that so dismayed the twelve spies. See Num 33:1-56. They might have had to fight every mile of advance. This would have been too great an ordeal for their young faith. So God, like the mother eagle, bore them on His wings. The Angel who conducted the march in the cloud chariot, led them about. Thus God deals with us still, tempering the wind to the shorn lamb. Patience and faith are still severely tested by the circuitous and laborious route, but when in the afterwards we understand God’s reasons, we are satisfied. There are many lessons learned on the wilderness route. How often God leads us into what seem to be impossible positions, that in our absolute extremity there may be room for Him to work. All is love. See Psa 136:1-26.