After Abimelech, there were 2 judges who led Israel. First was Tola. There are only 2 verses in the book of Judges about him. We know that he was from the tribe of Issachar and lived in Shamir. He judged (or led) Israel for 23 years then he died. We don’t really know why there isn’t more information. But the most important thing we know is that he arose and saved Israel. While he led, the people followed God.
After Tola, was Jair. He judged for 22 years. The interesting thing the Bible does tell us about Jair is that he had 30 sons who rode 30 donkeys and had 30 towns in the region of Gilead. I guess he was pretty wealthy if they had 30 towns! Like Tola, we aren’t really told a lot about Jair. There are no stories of battles and wars, just that Israel was at peace during his reign.
But after Jair died the people of Israel began to drift from the Lord again. So once again God let their neighbors overpower them. They were oppressed by the Philistines and the Ammonites for 18 years. The Israelites finally realize their mistake again and call out to God. He reminds them that He has delivered them over and over. He tells them they should ask these other gods they keep turning to for help. But the Israelites have realized their mistake, so they ask forgiveness and get rid of their other gods. And God forgives them again.
How often are we like the people of Israel? When someone else is leading, we follow along and make the good choices they show us. But when we have to make a choice to sin or not sin all by ourselves we make a bad choice. It is easier to make good choices when a leader, or parent, is with us. But we have to learn, like the children of Israel, to make good choices, even when we don’t have a leader with us.
Have your child work a puzzle with your help. Then have them do it again alone. (Pick one they can do but would be a bit of a challenge.) Talk about how many things are easier with help, but we can do it alone (no human help, we always need God's help)!