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The End Game

There are voids in scripture where details were left out that make me wonder “What if?” One of those is the prophet Jonah. I wonder if that ungrateful prophet, so full of himself after God brought repentance Nineveh, ever preached again. What was God’s end game with Jonah?  Did God ever bid him to do more preaching? 

Jonah's path to Nineveh included a three day, three night ordeal in the belly of the whale—an ordeal Jesus said provided a sign pointing to his resurrection. But the last glimpse scripture gives us of Jonah is a preacher with a bitter rift between him and his boss. Whether he lived out the rest of his life mired in bitterness or eventually got to a place of usefulness again, we’ll never know.

Another is Job’s wife. She’s mentioned (not by name) in Chapter 2, urging Job to abandon his integrity, “curse God, and die” (2:9). Job responded by telling her she sounded like “one of the foolish women” (2:10). Job suffered greatly. But through it all he kept his integrity in tact, blessed God instead. On the end of his suffering, God gave him “twice as much” (42:12) as he had prior to Satan’s buffeting. He ended up with twenty-two thousand head of livestock, seven sons and three daughters, and a wife who by any standard was living ‘the good life’ despite her former foolish advice.

He lived an additional one-hundred forty years and saw four generations of offspring. I take that to mean he saw his great grandchildren. Since the scripture makes no mention of concubines, we can assume the same wife who urged him to curse God was the same wife who afterwards bore him ten more children and shared the bounty God restored to Job.  

I wonder if Job’s wife EVER thanked God for turning her husband’s captivity (42:10), asking him to forgive her foolish advice and for giving her and Job a second chance at life. We know God’s end game with Job was a life filled with familial and material bounty. But that was NOT the most valuable part of God’s end game. Job emerged from the other side of his suffering with PRAYER POWER! When Job prayed for his so-called friends, with whom God was displeased, the Lord transformed his life. There is NO greater asset a man can possess in this life than power with God in prayer!

James wrote of Job: “Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:11). If a believer is experiencing MISERY in this life, he can rest assured God’s end game of that misery is MERCY! God’s ultimate end game for a child of God is a face to face meeting with Jesus in a glorified body like unto his glorious body. The resurrection guarantees it! 

There are children of God who suffer from permanent disabilities, who will never walk, talk or function in a normal way again. But physical limitations do NOT preclude spiritual prowess in prayer. Even a bed-ridden ninety-year old saint has the ability to “pull down strong holds” with prayer as a weapon of spiritual warfare (2 Corinthians 10:4). That’s an end game EVERY child of God should desire without regard for his or her physical limitations!


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