"Now these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel by them, that is, all who had not known any of the wars in Canaan. (This was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at least those who had not formerly known it)." Judges 3:1-2
The two great themes of Judges are:
The Faithfulness of the Covenant keeping God and
The unfaithfulness of the Covenant breaking people.
Judges is a record of man's sin, God's judgement, and God's grace and deliverance.
In each section we can ask:
What is God's Word of promise and command?
What is man's response (rebellion, or faithful obedience)?
What is God's response (blessing, or judgement)?
Judges show us man's potential for greatness
and capacity for catastrophe.
Joshua is a book of conquest, Judges a book of defeat.
Joshua is a book of Faith, Judges a book of unbelief.
Joshua is a book of obedience, Judges a book of disobedience.
In Joshua, God's people are united in following God.
In Judges, there is division and ultimately anarchy.
In Joshua, God's Word is central, in Judges, God's Word is neglected.
Judges is a book of both failure and Faith.