Moshe begins his review of the events of the travels through the dessert. He gets to the tale of the sending of the spies to Israel and he says that you came to me and wanted to send spies, etc.. In 1:23 Moshe says, “the idea was good in my eyes.”
Rashi aks if Moshe approved of the idea, why does he seem to be criticizing them? He explains that it is like a car salesman (he actually uses donkey instead of car, but I am paraphrasing). A guy is trying to sell a car. A customer comes in and asks questions. Finally he asks if he can take it for a test ride. The saleman says of course. Than he asks what about uphill? Downhill? In the sun? In the rain? Etc.. and the saleman keeps on responding in the affirmative.
When the buyer sees that the seller has nothing to hide and is willing to let him test it under any condition, he says I have no need for a test drive, I see from your confidence that nothing is wrong with it and I will buy it right now.
The same is true with Moshe. He thought that by his displaying confidence and agreeing to send the spies to Israel, they would say that if Moshe is so confident that everything there is ok that he is even willing to let us send spies, it must be fine and they would drop the idea of spies and just go in.
My question is, why would Moshe think his confidence would inspire them? What is the comparison to the car salesman – after all, the car salesman knows the specs of the car and where it works and has problems. His confidence really would inspire a potential customer. However, Moshe never saw the Land of Israel that he would have any reason to have confidence in what he was offering them? Why should his sales pitch inspire them when they knew that all his info was only second hand?
Moshe spoke directly with God and that is where his information came from. Moshe heard how great the Land of Israel is directly from the mouth of God. He was not trying to pass off bad information – he was passing on the word of God. He was so in tune with God and so in sync with God and Gods will that if God said the Land is great, Moshe can confidently say it as well, as if he had even seen it himself. Moshe had no doubts whatsoever of Gods intentions and sincerity.
That is why he assumed his confidence would inspire the buyer. However, he “forgot” that they were not on the same level as him. They were doubters. They found reasons to complain and doubt Gods words and abilities.
That is why he thought he would inspire them, but they refused to accept his inspiration.