The Judges Cycle

The Book of Judges is one of the most depressing books in the Bible.

As indicated in the graphic above, the people are in a continual cycle of sin, suffering, supplication, and salvation.

  1. The people would sin.
  2. God would bring about suffering in their lives for punishment.
  3. They would pray for deliverance.
  4. God would use a judge to bring about salvation.

In Judges 2:11-19, we read about the cycle in a template for the rest of the book.


  1. In the Book of Judges, we see a cycle of sin, suffering, supplication, and salvation.
  2. God raised up judges who brought temporary peace but demonstrated the people’s need for eternal peace.
  3. The people continued to follow other gods who promised immediate prosperity.
  4. The Israelites were supposed to take the land, but the land took them.  They became like the Canaanites.
  5. Our most common sin struggles originate from spiritual forgetfulness (Ex. 20:2; Lev. 25:38; 26:14; Num. 15:41; Deut. 5:6; Ps. 81:10).
  6. Spiritual ancestry is not inherited naturally, it must be taught (Jud. 2:12).
  7. Our problem is not failing to know about the LORD, it is in our failure to know the LORD.
  8. People always talk about what they love the most.
  9. Sin always entails a belief our way is better than God’s (Jud. 2:11; 21:25).
  10. The human heart is addicted to a form of praise that incorporates our passing pleasure (Jud. 2:13).
  11. No greater enemy exists than God himself (Jud. 2:14).
  12. Even God’s anger is rooted in unfailing love since faithfulness is the goal.
  13. True love demands exclusivity.
  14. God disciplines his children passively (Jud. 2:14) and actively (Jud. 2:15).
  15. The judges could not stop the culture of iniquity but they could slow its spiral of depravity.
  16. We don’t need a temporary deliverer – we need an eternal Savior!