After their conquest of the promised land, the Children of Israel settled in to their new home. It was a land of great abundance and prosperity. But as life became easy, they forgot how dependent they actually were on God. Instead of following His ways they began doing what was right in their own eyes.
This began a terrible cycle that continued for over 300 years: the people turned away from God – then their peace and prosperity vanished as they were plundered by enemies – then the people turned back to God and cried out for help – then God sent a mighty judge to deliver them from their enemies – then after a time of peace and prosperity, the cycle would begin again as the people turned away from God once again.
The Children of Israel went through this same foolish cycle many times during the 350 years that are recorded in the book of Judges.