16 Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17 Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. 18 Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19 But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
The Israelites went through 7 cycles of rebelling against God. They did not learn their lesson the first time, or even the 7 times of cycling through rebelling. First, there is rebelling against God by pulling back from what we know is right. Next, you can get overwhelmed by those around you doing the wrong thing, and you participate to belong. Then, you can be brought back on the path by a God fearing person whom you may look up to, and this can put you back on track. Also, when you have that God fearing person active in your life, this person can be a strong, positive influence to help you remain loyal to God. Keeping a strong person of faith in your life is important because without good people around you, you can again forget about putting God first in your life. You have to be determined to be faithful to God. Practice spiritual morality and maintain contact with other believers. That way when difficult situations come your way, you will not rebel and fall away.