Know Your Bible Series: The Judges of Israel
The Hebrew nation, after the death of Joshua, had no strong central government. They were a confederacy, of twelve more or less independent tribes, with no unifying force, except their God. The form of government in the days of the Judges is often referred to as “theocracy”, that is, God Himself was the direct ruler of the nation, through the instrumentality of men and women that He raised, known as the Judges. But the people did not take their God very seriously, and were continually falling into idolatry. The enemies that surrounded them threatened their very existence. Except for such leaders as the Judges, and except for God’s miraculous aid in times of crisis, Israel would have been exterminated.
God had founded a nation for the purpose of paving the way for the coming of the Redeemer. God was determined to maintain that nation, and in spite of its idolatry and wickedness He did maintain it.