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God used judges to get the Israelites back on track.
In today’s lesson, we’re talking about a sad time in Israel’s history. In previous lessons, we’ve learned how God rescued the Israelites from slavery and performed many miracles to get them safely to the Promised Land. Well, they finally got to the Promised Land, and all was great, until the people forgot about God. Even though God had given them land, other people were living there, too. These people didn’t know God and they did terrible things. Over time, this way of life started to rub off on the Israelites! God’s people started doing terrible things, too, and they stopped listening to God. So, to get their attention, God would send nations to conquer the Israelites. The Israelites would cry out to God for help and then God would send a judge to save them. Now, a judge at this time wasn’t a judge like we know today. A judge was like a political or military leader who God would raise up to defeat the enemy. With every victory, the people would remember God. But, then they would go back to their bad choices, get attacked, cry out to God and God would send a judge to save them. Here’s the point. Even though we mess up, God still loves us and he will save us.