A well-written fiction piece will have an ending that hopefully deals with all the threads of the plot and subplot. A well-written nonfiction piece contains a conclusion that summarizes the points of the article or book.
Stories in the Bible also use the ending as a powerful tool to give the reader an interpretation of the preceding action.
For example, in Genesis, we meet Abraham and Lot, Abraham’s nephew. After their servants argue over where to pasture the sheep, the two men decide to part ways. Abraham allows Lot to choose first and his choice captures the lushest pastures.
But this crossroads begs for a sequel and we get one a few chapters later when Lot and his family are found living in Sodom. Abraham’s life, meanwhile, has blossomed into many spiritual and domestic blessings.
We also learn from the story of Abraham and Sarah, who, after being promised a son, decide to take things into their own hands. Sarah presents her servant Hagar to Abraham as her substitute. When Hagar bears a son by Abraham, the resulting tension creates havoc for Abraham – and throughout Jewish history.
The end of the story reveals much about the character of those involved in the story.
Another example can be found in the book of Ruth, where Ruth risks herself by choosing a new nation and a new God. The ending of the story, where she marries Boaz and bears a son, shows the reward that was hers for her wise decision.
The end of the story shows Lot’s greedy decision led him on a path to an evil life. Equally, the end of the story reveals Sarah’s lack of faith in God’s promises and how her decision cascaded into problems.
And Ruth’s gracious love for her mother-in-law is endorsed by her happy ending.
The end of the story in the Bible helps the reader evaluate the characters and events of story.