In Judges 1 we read about how the tribes weren’t obeying and destroying the Canaanites out of the land God had given them. They were making covenants with them and turning them into slave labor.
The Lord points out to them how He promised to never break His covenant. But they had broken it. They hadn’t obeyed. They chose their own way, what seemed best to them.
God doesn’t say He will now abandon them, but the warning is that the people who have remained will become snares to them. They were warned of this before, that if they stayed, their gods would be a snare to them, a trap.
The Israelites weep and wail.
The generation dies off, and they didn’t train up the new generation in the way they should go. They don’t know the Lord and are ensnared. They worship the Baals, the gods of the Canaanites.
It says that God’s anger is kindled and He gives them over to be plundered. It says the Lord’s hand was against them as He had warned and promised.
Is God doing wrong? Of course not. God hadn’t broken His covenant. They broke the covenant. The blessings and the curses had contingencies. They had to choose life. The one true God is the giver of life. He is life. They had to choose Him. He didn’t make them sin. He didn’t cause them to go after other gods. It was their choice. They had made their choice.
Yes, they wanted God to go up with them into battle. But it doesn’t work that way. You can’t just use God at your convenience to get Him to do your bidding. You follow Him and then you’re with Him, always.
He is doing exactly what He promised. Going with them when they were worshiping and following other gods would have broken His word, would have gone against His word, against His character, against His justice. It would encourage them in the worship of other gods if they thought worshiping them had given them the victory. It would lead them to death.
God’s still for them. He will always be for His people. His heart is ever for His people. If it ever feels like God’s hand is against you, it’s the time to go running to Him, not running away. He’s still on your side. He will always be for you. His chosen ones will always be His chosen ones.