In Judges, the Children of Israel have trouble obeying God. As each man (who had become a judge for Israel) died, they would forsake God, and turn to other gods. Each time, something bad would happen to them, they would repent, andd God would send them a new judge to defeat their enemies. And each time, the man would die and they would go right back to the way they'd been.
Chapter 2: tells of how Joshua died and the Israelites began to worshp other gods.
Along came Othniel, a nephew of Caleb, in chapter 3. They were under the rule of the King of Mesopotamia, and Othniel defeated him. Othniel ruled as their judge for forty years. When he died, they were at it again. This time they became servants to Eglon, the king of Moab. When the cried out to God, He gave them Ehud. Ehud killed Eglon, and Israel was once again a free nation. Ehud was their judge, and they knew rest for eighty years.
In chapters 4 and 5, we read were they again disobeyed and fell into the hands of Jabin, the king of Canaan. When Israel cried out, God sent them Deborah. She was a wife and a prophetess. She called for a man named Barak, to go and defeat the Captain of Jabin's army, Sisera. He told her he would, if she'd go with him. Deborah said she'd go, but for him not to worry, because God was going to let a woman kill Sisera. Sure enough, Sisera ended up in the tent of a woman named Jael. She was the wife of a man named Heber. Heber was friends with Jabin, so Sisera felt safe in going there. But, while he slept, Jael went and bashed his head in with a hammer and nail. The end of chapter 5 tells us that the Israelites had rest for forty more years.
Chapter 6 begins the story of Gideon. God decided that Gideon was the one He wanted to send to defeat the Midianites. Gideon wasn't so sure about that. He asked God to give him a sign. He would put a piece of fleece on the ground. If the fleece was wet with dew, and the ground was dry, then he'd know that God meant for him to go fight the Midianites. The next morning, Gideon woke up and found the fleece wet and the ground dry. But Gideon was still unsure. He told God that if he put the fleece on the ground again, this time he wanted the fleece to be dry and the ground wet with the dew. The next morning, that's exactly what had happened.
The next time we read in Judges, we'll see what Gideon did.
The next set of chapters will be 1 Corinthians 7-11.