I recently read a novel in which the girl — after being given every opportunity to “win” the guy she liked — decided not to. Confused, I turned the page, only to find a sneak peek at the author’s next book. Nothing else! The story had ended without the resolution that the author had led readers to expect. I was appalled. What a waste of time.
A good story features exciting conflict that proceeds to a satisfactory resolution. Plots are wrapped up, questions are answered, relationships are reconciled. In a romance, especially, the main characters typically find ways to overcome their obstacles. However they choose to make peace with one another, the reader closes the book satisfied with their journey to resolution.
God has been writing a story of His relationship with humankind. He chose the Jewish people as his instrument — they would show his majesty and character to the Gentile world, “the nations.” That didn’t work out so well (plot, see?), since the Old Testament tells us the Israelites were more inwardly focused, proud of their status as “God’s people” and less than eager to include outsiders. But God persisted with his storyboard, as it were, and sent Jesus….