At first the Israelites worship God. They do what He says and follow Him.
But, because they didn’t drive out all of the other people, they start to make friends with them and marry them, and finally they start to worship their gods.
God lets the Canaanites conquer the Israelites to punish them for their disobedience. It isn’t because He doesn’t love them. God is doing it just like a parent does to their child, to help them learn.
Israel remembers the God who Saves, and they call out to God. God is merciful just like a parent and remembers how much He loves them.
God calls up a Judge to rescue Israel. The Judge goes in and defeats the people enslaving Israel. While the Judge is alive Israel follows God and worships Him. For a short time after the Judge’s death they continue to follow God, but usually they forget again, and the cycle starts all over.
Let’s take a moment and look at the first 3 Judges, each of them needed God to be able to do what God needed done.
Othneil was an old man when God called him to be a judge. He shouldn’t have been a might fighter, but God called him forth and he defeated the people oppressing them.
Ehud was crippled, his right hand was deformed. God called him and he hid a dagger when he went to see the king of the Moabites. He pulled the dagger out and killed the king, then he led the Israelites in defeating the Moabites.
Shamgar herded cows. God called him and he killed 600 Philistines with a stick.
God did mighty things with three simple men.
reference: Judges 2 and 3