All we know about Tola is given in this one verse. He is not mentioned by Josephus. Certainly he was a servant of God and a patriot of Israel. When his people needed a defender, he rose to the occasion. Unlike his predecessor, Abimelech, he sought no honors. He was content simply to do what he could for Israel. The twenty-three years of Tola’s judgeship were probably quiet years. The nation suffered no major invasions. They were not tributary to a foreign king. These peaceful years were the result of the victories of Gideon. Tola helped to perpetuate the peace. Thus, we see that the influence of a God-fearing man lives on long after his death. Unfortunately, the influence of the wicked often lives on even longer.
The best men are not always the best known. They just go quietly about their duty, unconcerned for honor or worldly fame. Such people will not make the Who’s Who, or be selected for the Hall of Fame, but they can rejoice that their “names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). They may go virtually unnoticed by men, but God takes not and will appropriately honor such in due time. "Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:1).
By O. H. Griffith, circa 2002 [I recovered the above writing by Brother Griffith from an e-mail I had printed out. It appears there may have been another paragraph that is missing.