In Chapter 2 we get a preview or an overview of the rest of the book of Judges.
... After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.A pattern emerges and we start this reading with the word AGAIN.
The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them.
... Then the Lord raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers.
... Whenever the Lord raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the Lord took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering. But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. (New Living Translation)
Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, now that Ehud was dead. So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan ... because ... he had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years, they cried to the LORD for help.
Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. ...She sent for Barak ... and said to him, "The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: 'Go, take with you ten thousand men ... and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.'"
... On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites.
... Then the land had peace forty years.
chasing your own tail
The book of Judges is all about this up and down period of leadership in the growing nation of Israel. A circular pattern or cycle marks this period in Israel's history. They are caught in a vicious circle. Israel serves the Lord, living by his commandments, then they turn away and follow other gods. They become enslaved and after a while cry out to the Lord. God raises up a leader for them and they are freed from slavery and serve the Lord again. Then they turn away and the cycle starts all over again. I find it amazing the Lord is always there for them when they return to him. He never gives up on his people. Amazing Love.