The Israelites continually strayed from the worship of God to the worship of idols.
When they were lead by certain judges, such as Deborah, Samson or Gideon they were reminded to worship God.
But, when the judges were not leading them, the Israelites immediately returned to worship of other Gods.
It was a common lament; Israel had no king, everyone did what they wanted. When everyone did what they wanted without reverence to God, the Israelites did horrible, barbaric things to one another and were also chastised by the Lord for their deeds.
This reminds us of what our lives could be without God. It is also a humbling reminder of our sinful nature as humans.