Judges 2: Provoking God

The Israelites go through cycles of faithfulness followed by idolatry due to their failure to eradicate the Canaanites from the land. God uses this Canaanites' presence to unleash His wrath at the Israelites disobedience.


As alluded to in Judges 1, the Israelites weren't following God's commandments. This was a surefire way of provoking His wrath. Judges 2 confirms that the events of Judges 1 occurred before Joshua died (see Judges 2:4-8). God sends the angel of the Lord to warn and remind them of the covenant they agreed to.

The angel of the Lord was no mere angel; we see this angel speak with the authority of God, receive worship, and be proclaimed as God. Most people agree that the angel of the Lord is Jesus before He took a human form (I will write a post on this topic as soon as I can).

An important take-away from this chapter is that God always sends a warning before exacting judgment. We may be too deep in our sin to recognize God's warning, as the Israelites often are throughout the book, but God does reach out to us. Knowing this may help us be mindful to look for these moments, so that we don't miss chances to turn back to God. When the Israelites hear the angel's message, they know the angel is right and desire to do better. This wake up call moves them to weep and present offerings to God, but this action doesn't stop them from repeating this cycle after Joshua dies.

A New Generation

If we us "the first generation" to refer to those who left Egypt (e.g. Moses and Aaron), the second generation would refer to those who entered the promised land under Joshua's leadership, and the third generation would be those who came after Joshua's leadership. The first generation witnessed God's glory both in the wilderness and in Egypt and the second generation witnessed God's glory during their conquests. The third generation, which was now taking over, was not so lucky. They had not necessarily seen God's hand at work, yet. This made them even weaker in faith.

Raising Up Judges

Photocredit: Foundations For Freedom
Since the Israelites don't expel the Canaanite, God uses the Canaanites to harass the Israelites. I imagine this is like an "I told you so" from God. If the Israelites weren't going to obey Him, He was going to leave them vulnerable to the attacks of their enemies. However, as promised, God always remembered His covenant with the people. Out of mercy, God raises up judges to lead the Israelites back to Him when they stray from the right path. God was always with whomever He called to lead which insured them victory. Unfortunately, each time a judge died, Israel fell back into idolatry. This goes to show that the battle to stay with God is constant.
4 R's4 S's
Rebellion Sin
Retribution Servitude
Repentance Supplication
Rest Salvation

Each period surrounding a judge can be described as cycle. Some describe the cycle as the 4 S's, while others the as the 4 R's. Both are shown to the left.[1]


  1. [1] MacDonald, William. Believer's Bible Commentary. pg. 266. 1989

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