Judges 2:15, “15 Wherever they went, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had spoken and as the Lord had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.”
You need to see there is a pattern unfolding in Judges chapter 2 that is going to be repeated over and over throughout Judges, and I think we can still see this pattern in our spiritual lives today.
We will see a description of the people turning from the Lord (#1 worshipping other gods), then we will see God’s response to their sin ( #2 the Lord is provoked to anger), and as a result of their sin we see consequences ( #3 Oppression by enemies.)
When we consider the Lord bringing “oppression” into our lives we might be shocked. We typically want God to just love us and forgive us in our rebellion, but we must remember when we are turning from the God of Scripture we are giving ourselves to lesser things. The most loving thing the Lord could do is pursue in discipline, so that we would turn from our sin and trust Him.
As a result the people cry out, and throughout Judges we will see the Lord provide through judges. When you hear the word “judge” it isn’t like a judicial judge like “Judge Judy” but more so these judges are military leaders or strategic leaders, and under their leadership there will be peace, #6, but eventually that “judge” will die and the cycle will start over.
You must know it is highly likely we see this spiritual pattern in our lives today. There are layers of our life where we are turning away from the God of Scripture, and when we do we aren’t turning toward nothing / neutral, we are turning toward sin, and when we turn toward sin we are turning toward death, and the only thing death can bring is darkness and despair.
Therefore, the the most loving response the Lord could do is to bring consequences for our sin so that we might turn from our sin in repentance (#4). Romans 2 says, “It is the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance.”
Repentance is acknowledging our sin to the Lord, repentance is admitting our sin is hurtful, and repentance is turning to God to find rescue in Him and Him alone. Praise God! Repentance is what keeps our worship of God warm. Repentance reminds us why we need Jesus so much, and by God’s grace we will see repentance lifted up in our lives as much as possible.