The end of chapter two gives a great summary of the cycle of the judges. We are going to see this cycle throughout our reading here. For the people of Israel this cycle was not a cycle of growth, but rather a cycle of decline. By the end of this book the people of Israel become a people who have all but forgotten the Lord. Each goes his own way, following after the gods of the nations.

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. – Judges 21:25

Ultimately, this cycle will play itself out on a grander scale through the judges and the kings, ultimately leading to exile. The cycle is a cycle of decline. Is there any redemption? Is there any hope? Let us not forget the third part of the covenant. We remember the blessing of obedience. We remember the curse of disobedience. But we must also continue to remember the hope of restoration. Through each of these cycles, whether grand or small, God preserves a judge, or a prophet, and ultimately a remnant that leads to the only lasting leader and hope, which is Christ.