The Israelites did not completely obey the Lord’s command to make no covenants with, nor allow any altars to the pagans of the Promised Land. Since they allowed them to stay in the land, the Lord said they would become “thorns” in their side and that their false gods would be a “snare” to them. Their failure to completely obey the Lord set the stage for the painful cycle of five recurring themes in the book of Judges: Rebellion, Rebuke, Repentance, Rescue, and Rest.
As you read the book of Judges, watch for these five themes. The Israelites will rebel, God rebukes them, they finally repent, God sends a judge to rescue them and they find rest (usually for 40 years or a generation). It’s exhausting to read because the Israelites are so unfaithful. Yet, God’s faithfulness remains consistent throughout!