Abimelech tried to establish a monarchy with himself as king (of course). Then, we read a statement that, from the beginning of the book, is repeated over and over again: “The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals" (10:6). – What’s going on, here? Things were looking so good with the covenant renewal at the end of the book of Joshua. The people are in the land, and the land has been allotted. God’s promises to his people fulfilled. Well, using a bit of alliteration I have often pointed to:
1) SIN--They turned to false gods. (10:6).
2) SUFFERING--God afflicted them by giving their enemies victory over them (10:7).
3) SUPPLICATION--The people would cry to the Lord for deliverance, not out of genuine repentance, but always only sorrow for their predicament (10:10).
4) SALVATION--God would send a judge to deliver them (ch. 11-Jepthah). When the judge died, the cycle would start over. Thirteen times, this happened!
Hear the echoes of our own lives? And the goodness of our God?
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee:
prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above. --Robert Robinson (1758)