I misread the reading guide, so I'm getting back on schedule today… sorry about the confusion that I may have created. I think this is one of the saddest chapters in the bible, and it seems like it's purpose is to show the utter depravity of Israel. I couldn't help but cringe as I read about the poor concubine who was brought to death because of the disgusting acts of some perverted men. Obviously Israel has strayed from the Lord, and this seems to be an indication that He is getting ready to bring her back.
On the one hand, it's encouraging that God even wants to stay involved with His people despite their behavior. On the other hand, it is a reminder of just how slippery a downward slope can be and the importance of being diligent at fighting against temptation to stray from Him and to become apathetic in our relationship with Him. In this case, the casualty was a poor, young woman. There's no telling who the casualties could be in the future.