Good analogy Randal.
However, I have often thought of the Old Testament as a testament to the hard headedness of Israel.
Can you possibly imagine actually walking, physically walking, across the desert with the physical presence of God in your very sight. Getting instructions from Him daily on how to live your life. Seeing the miracles of God first hand during your travels and STILL have the hardness of heart and head to disobey Him!
I’ve heard believers say, “well, if God were here today, I just know it would be different”. I don’t think so. If people back then would disobey the commandments of God, knowing He was right there, I’m supposing today would be no different. Oh, for awhile things would be different. But after awhile, His presence would come to be accepted as just the way things are and man, being man, would begin to try and get over on Him. It’s the human way.
God will always walk with us, it’s us that have the trouble walking with Him.