After the winning and settlement of the 12 tribes of Israel, their great leader died at the age of 110 years. The Lord had ruled through Moses and Joshua. After Joshua the Lord used men to do his ruling through a group called judges. The names of these judges were Othneil, Deborah, Guideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon and Samson.
Another great leader was Samuel who served as the high priest and did something of the things of a judge. It was the Lord's plan to rule through the judges. After the time of the judges the people desired a king to be their chief authority.
I did a little figuring and the time the judges ruled was about 170 years. The period of the kings, which were about 26 in number, was about 460 years. After the Babylonians destroyed and conquered the southern kings, Israel was never a unified country until the year of 1948. Until they reoccupied themselves again in Israel, they became scattered throughout the world and interspersed among other nations.
I have given you a little about the Jews to deal with the time of the first judge named Othneil. Notice a scripture Judges 2:17, "And yet they would not hearken to their judges, but they went whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in obeying the commandments of the Lord, but they did not."
The judges were to be fair and just judges. And in the main the judges were obedient to the Lord. But we see they did not keep the will of the Lord. Good leaders do a lot of good for the people but we are aware of how people can change from one generation to the next. Until Joshua died they obeyed the Lord and he was faithful to bless his people and have the blessings of God protect them from their enemies.
The loss of a few battles alarmed the people that the Lord was withholding his blessings and losing their battles. They began to cry out but the Lord was not with them. The reason being they had played at the game of sinning and all the Lord had to do was just withhold his blessing.
There were some judges that tried to call them back to faithfulness to God and some did for a while then they began to go their merry way and to disobey the Lord again and again. Good leaders are a great thing but they have to obey the godly leaders to again have the blessings of God. Their behavior continued in spite of the leadership. Their history shows that people do not learn from their mistakes.
The Lord does not change. He is the same always. Let's hope and pray that in our time our nation needs to consider and obey.