First, the people disobey God, then reject him, and then serve other gods. Next, they experience misery and suffering. Finally they cry out to God, and he sends someone to save them. They rejoice. And then become complacent and disobey God.
We can look at these people and ask, why don't they get it?
A better question is, why don't we get it? Why don't we obey God in everything? Why do we become complacent?
We experience God and his power, we tell the stories of his glory, and then the stories get old, and we begin to forget. We stop doing the little things he's asked us to do, and then bigger things. And then we begin to wander.
Incidentally, wandering can look like a lot of things--it can even be imperceptible to the people around us.
Maybe I'm telling my own story.
The thing is, our experiences get stale. We must continually seek God. And we see that we are wandering, that our desire for him has decreased, when we realize that fear and anxiety threaten to crowd out faith and hope, we must cry out to him for mercy, for a touch of his spirit.
We need new stories of God's love and faithfulness. Ours and those of our spiritual community.
Or we will repeat the pattern of the book of Judges.