The book of Judges tells the story of the Hebrew people while they are living in Canaan and before they are appointed a series of kings. The six judges in the book function as military leaders rather than legal experts or settlers of disputes as we may understand judges today. Deborah is the only female judge mentioned in this book, but she is one of many biblical examples of women in leadership. Each story has this pattern: the Israelites sin and worship other gods, God removes the hand of protection and delivers them into the hands of an oppressor, they cry out to God, God appoints a judge to rescue Israel and the people return to the proper worship of God, the judge dies and the people turn from God, and the cycle begins again.
You would think the Hebrews would learn, but they are human after all. This is why history tends to repeat itself. We humans (both individually and collectively) have a hard time learning from the past. Have you had a time in your life when you might have been caught up in sin or devoted yourself to something other than God or God’s ways? Maybe money became the object of your devotion or maybe it was your status or your image or a particular group you identified yourself with.
Maybe it was something that became an obsession or addiction. What consequences were the outcome? Were they all negative or all positive or a little of both? Who did God work through to bring your attention back to God’s ways?
Offer a prayer of confession for those times when you have worshipped at the feet of some other god and thank God for continuing to send the right people to guide you back onto the right path.