Read Judges 2:8-19
The book of Judges begins in much the same way as the book of Joshua, with the demise of the leader of the people of Israel. Joshua had lived a long life and led the people to conquer the land which Yahweh God had given to His people. But, after the people had settled in the Promised Land, a new generation arose. That new generation began to develop bad habits. They began to worship the false god of the people groups that had been in the land before them. The Israelites had never been told about what God had done in the lives of their ancestors. The situation was, in fact, sinful and a violation of the covenant that had been made with the one true God.
God was justly angry with the people for their sin and idolatry. He allowed the Israelites’ enemies to make raids on the land and win against their military forces. This should not have been a surprise to the Israelites. Earlier, God had promised to bless them if they were obedient and curse them if they sinned.
However, God never abandoned His people. He raised up individuals called judges to lead the people who would save the people from the marauders. After the individual judges passed from the scene, the Israelites returned to their idolatry and sin against God. This began a cycle of sin, judgement, oppression, rescue, and return to God which continued throughout the history of the nation.
This historic cycle was not just a bad habit, like biting one’s nails. The problem of Israel was inward. They had forgotten who God was, what He had done for them, and their obligation to obey Him. Does this happen to us? Do we go through our day and not remember what Jesus did for us in saving us from our sin? Take a moment right now and thank God for your salvation and ask Him to give you the resolve to follow Him in obedience.