After the time of Deborah, the Israelites once again turned from God. They began to let other things be more important in their lives than God. So once again God allowed their neighbors to conquer them. It says in Judges 6:1 that they were ruled by the Midianites for 7 years. The Bible says that the Israelites had to live in caves and strongholds in the mountains and that the Midianites and their allies would come in and destroy all the crops and livestock of the Israelites. It says that there were too many to count and they came with their camels like swarms of locusts. Have you ever seen a swarm of insects? It can be scary! And this ‘swarm’ went throughout the land.
So, after this went on for a while, the people began to cry out to God again. Are you ever that way? Do you kind of forget God is there until you need Him because you are upset or scared? It is very tempting to do and the Israelites did this often. But when they cried out to God, He answered them. (Just like He always does for us!!) He sent a prophet (we don’t know his name) that reminded them of how God had helped them in the past. God also reminded them they had nothing to fear from the false gods of their neighbors. The final thing He told them was that they had disobeyed Him.
But why did He tell them these things? I think He wanted them to know that He had helped them before and He could and would help them again. But He also wanted them to understand that they got themselves in this mess! If they had been obedient and followed God in the first place they would have been a lot better off. God wanted to remind them (and us) that it is better to be obedient in the first place and avoid the bad stuff all together. He will help us when we need it, but it is a lot better to do the right thing the first time and skip all the bad consequences!
Discuss the consequences of bad behavior. Depending on their ages you may include legal consequences or just things like: when we disobey and throw a ball in the house things get broken, etc.
Consider role reversal play with your child. Give them a scenario where you do something bad, (break a toy, etc.) and have them determine the appropriate consequences. Remind them that we all pay consequences when we do wrong and when you discipline it is to help them learn not to repeat their mistakes!