“…The Israelites did what was evil…”
A cycle is something that repeats itself over and over. We know for example, that the water cycle begins with the evaporation of water from the Earth. This water becomes vapor as it goes through the phase known as condensation. Finally, all that water vapor becomes rain or precipitation, returning again to Earth.
The sons and daughters of Israel began the cycle by sinning or doing evil in the sight of the Lord. These were not “everyday” sins (which are also wrong and despicable), but open acts of rebellion against God, and idolatrous practices.
“…and the Lord, gave them into the hand of …”
Here comes the divine punishment, or the second phase of this cycle. God used pagan nations to bring Israel to repentance. So great were their sin and rebellion that many years of suffering would pass before they chose to repent.
“…the Israelites cried out to the Lord…”
When the burden of their sin was the heaviest and the punishment reached its climax, the sons of Abraham had a way of escape: God. He was their only hope and is our only hope. He can rescue our souls from the abyss of suffering, just as he sent many different “judges” or heroes like Gideon to lead his people to victory.
We have been part of this cycle as well. Sin ruled in our lives, and God gave us up to “degrading passions” (Rom.1:26) and lusts. Nevertheless, we repented and believed in the Lord, and he sent Jesus our eternal Savior. One day, as we enter our celestial home, the cycle will be completed.