A look at the book of Judges- 1- The need for Judges
Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do so. And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way. (Judges 2:11-19) (NKJV)
It was sort of a chain reaction. A stubborn people forsook the Lord Almighty and served idols after the generation of Joshua had passed away . This angered God and he gave them into the hands of their enemies and they were plundered. When they suffered and were greatly distressed and groaned, the LORD had pity on them and raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. But the Israelites were stubborn and fell into idolatry again. And the sin-punishment-distress cries-God showing mercy-raising of judges-deliverance act was repeated again and again.
Even in our times, people are stubborn and cannot forsake idolatry, even after God, through his channels make them realize that it is wrong. They then go through the same chain reaction as the Israelites did. Most seem to ignore a punishment when actually it should have been a lesson thoroughly learnt.