The Israelites were only too happy to receive liberty from their bondage to Egypt. But were very unwilling to obey God, complaining loudly, even rebelling in the wilderness, accusing Moses, Aaron, and by extension, God Himself, for the hardships in the wilderness despite the liberty they received from God through these men.
Being in the church is no different, in that sense. We have become part of a body, a nation, the body of Christ, a royal priesthood. God looks at us both as individuals and as a body, and He leads and guides that entire body. He expects those who are now part of the body through baptism and the receipt of His Holy Spirit to be willing to endure whatever the body goes through. Israel was unwilling to do that.
John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 2)
Moses understood that he was God's direct representative and though he was not God, to reject him was to tempt God to do something, to react. What did Moses fear? He was afraid that God would react by striking those people dead because they were chiding with His ambassador.
This principle in no way means that His representatives are sinless or infallible. God has provided plenty of evidence of the weaknesses of his servants. Moses had quite a temper, which he had to learn to bring under control. We are all familiar with what David did. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, took on God, giving Him a piece of his mind—saying, "God, you tricked me!"—but God straightened him out. Jeremiah obviously had trouble getting his nature under control. Of course, more modern leaders have had problems with their natures as well, but those problems did not change the fact of their office and that God was able to use them as He desired. God controlled them in those things that were important to teaching us to improve our relationship with Him so that we might come out of this in His image.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership