Then the LORD raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers. Yet Israel did not listen to the judges but prostituted themselves by worshiping other gods. How quickly they turned away from the path of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the LORD’s commands. 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, - Judges 2:16-23
If you begin reading in Judges chapter 1 you will quickly notice that the tribes are not doing all they are told to do as they take the land. Many do not drive out the people. Some make them slaves others let them live with them and some tribes go live among the enemy. This all began to happen after Joshua died.
So God tells them because they have not keep their part of the covenant that He is not keeping His. The tribes begin to be defeated until one king comes along, Elgon. Joshua 3:13-14 tells us that "God gives King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil. Eglon enlisted the Ammonites and Amalekites as allies, and then he went out and defeated Israel, taking possession of Jericho, the city of palms. And the Israelites served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years." Back into captivity!
Now God had already given one judge to rescue Israel, and when that judge died they rebelled even worse than before, even still God had mercy and hurt over there self inflicted suffering.
Sounds a lot like us sometimes doesn't it?
Like a revolving door we are faithful for awhile then go our own way, come back and cry out to God, He rescues out of His unmeasurable love for us and we are faithful..... the cycle. It is miserable for us, it is heart hurting for God; but there is more to this story.
So this king conquers Israel and makes them slaves. Israel cries out to God. As we do when trouble comes. God sends another judge, Ehud. God sends Ehud on a mission. All alone Ehud sneaks back to the king, tells him he has a secret message. When the kings court out of the room for privacy Ehud strikes on Gods behalf. “I have a message from God for you!” Ehud says and kills the king in his own chambers. Ehud goes home and raises an army and they take control back.
God is always willing to provide a way of redemption through repentance. He is willing that all should come to salvation, it is His great desire that no one perish. Many will perish, some will be saved. No matter what stands between you and God let it go. Wait before our Lord until you feel real sorrow, real regret and give real repentance. That is how you receive redemption again.
There is a warning however many years later that is nothing more than a reminder of the seriousness of a covenant. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for (our) sins, but judgement." Hebrews 10:26 If we keep going back to the same sin we know is wrong, after awhile we wont find our way back very easy. Our hearts become numb and unresponsive.
Praise God that we can be empowered by redemption to be obedient and faithful through the work of Christ Jesus on Calvary! I challenge you to keep yourself prayed and studied up so you remain faithful.