In this post, J. D. Greear discusses how we ought to read and understand some of the more violent passages of the Old Testament. Here’s an excerpt:
Reading the Old Testament can be difficult. It’s not exactly full of the kinds of stories we’d pick out for our kids to read before bed. It’s more likely to sound like a brutal recounting of the Hatfields and McCoys than a scene from Goodnight Moon. What lessons can we learn from the less-than-pleasant parts of God’s Word?
Judges 9 gives us a great example. It chronicles the life of Gideon’s son, Abimelech—his bloody rise to power and his violent end. His story begins when he ruthlessly murders 69 of his 70 brothers, declaring himself king and demanding tribute from the surrounding cities. The one brother who survives, Jotham, warns Abimelech that this atrocity won’t go unpunished.