Judges 1 - This transition chapter takes us from the "Thrill of Victory" to the "Agony of Defeat" in the experience of Israel coming into the Promised Land! Joshua shows the victorious Israelites claiming the land of promise as their own. Judges now shows us the defeated Israelites all but giving the land back! Over and over again you read the cycle - Israel gets a season of peace - then they "sin up a storm" - then an enemy invades and drives the Israelites "to the hills" - then Israel repents of their sins and God sends a judge to straighten out the mess they're in - peace comes back to the Jews - and, guess what? They do the whole scenario all over again, and again, and again!
Judges 2 - One line in this chapter tells you why the Israelites got themselves into such a mess. It's in verse 10 where we read, "..another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel." How can one generation away from Joshua come to such a wretched condition? The answer lies in parents not telling their children about the great works of God in Exodus and the older Israelites not stressing the importance of loving God and obeying His Law. The same is true today. Dad's and Mom's are not sharing the story Jesus with their kids and many other Christians are not sharing the Gospel with their friends and acquaintances!
The sad thing is that you'll be reading through this book wondering how quickly so-called "people of God" could live as if God didn't exist! But, praise the Lord for the lessons you'll learn from most of their judges. God does offer hope to sinning believers!