Judges 9 is a dark chapter. Abimelech, the son of Gideon’s concubine (and one of the evidences of Gideon’s failure), murders 70 of his half-brothers after being funded by the men of Shechem. The men of Shechem turn on Abimelech, which results in a bloody feud. Abimelech destroys most of Shechem, the house of El-Berith, and many of the people of Thebez. In the end, however, Abimelech was defeated by a woman who crushed him with a millstone. The entire chapter is full of sin and wickedness…not a single bright spot. Just one huge indictment on the wickedness of Abimelech and the people who fund his murder and then crown him king.
In spite of this, God still raises up a deliverer to rescue Israel. Talk about grace! Even in the midst of darkness and disobedience, God is faithful. He sends Tola and Jair to deliver Israel. And, in the midst of darkness and disobedience, God sent Jesus to deliver humanity from sin. Jesus died on the cross to redeem us, and the cross is a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness to sinful humans. Praise to Him who rescues us from darkness and delivers us from sin!