When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel. Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals. Judges 2:10-11
The Book of Judges provides a vivid biography of leaders, followers, and human nature, and describes a cycle repeated even today:
- Rebellion – When things go well, people drop their guard. Peacetime brings a greater chance of rebellion than wartime.
- Repression – Repression follows rebellion. Whether God sends an enemy or the people cause their own misery, they endure hardship, calamity, invasion, or natural disaster. Poor life choices result in retribution.
- Repentance – Extreme hardships often trigger community-wide repentance. Individuals begin to refocus on what is really important and purify their motives and behavior. Organizations cut budgets, downsize, and check egos.
- Restoration – Purification leads to restoration. When people begin to obey God, peace returns to the land once more. And the cycle of fallen human behavior has run its full course.