And so the Lord decides to leave a few enemies in their midst as a test.
- They are a test to see whether the Israelites will keep the way of the Lord. (2:22 and 3:4)
- They will teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had never experienced battle. (3:2)
Apparently peace and prosperity don't adequately generate thanksgiving and praise for God who gave such a wonderful gift.
Sometimes I meet people whose lives basically seem perfect. Marriages thrive. Children succeed in sports, go to college, get married, have beautiful kids. They lives in great houses and drive great cars. They may or may not believe in God, but their prosperity is their own.
And so they ignore or co-exist with God.
They might like him, but they don't necessarily need him.
Most of live with tests all the times.
God leaves challenges in our lives that test our resolve to follow Christ, surrender our lives, and obey his command to love.
Those challenges either strengthen our commitment, or they give us an excuse to do our own thing.
Sometimes I meet people who reject God because he let them down. A husband or wife cheated. A child or a mother or a sister died. Financial disasters or lost jobs or broken down cars become a sign that God isn't there or doesn't care.
And so they reject God because he let them down.
And they say they would follow him if things were better.
It doesn't really work that way. At least it didn't in the book of Judges.
I don't think anything has changed.