Here is a famous quote about Alexander the Great:
“Alexander wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
There is no known record in antiquity that verifies the quote. In fact, it’s probably a misquote from something Plutarch wrote:
“Alexander wept upon hearing that there were infinite worlds, realizing that he had not yet conquered even one.”
And Another Conqueror?
He wasn’t a general, or a conqueror, but he was used to help a nation become conquerors, the Assyrian Empire.
His name was Jonah and he was a prophet of God who was sent to the city of Nineveh, a tough assignment as prophets didn’t preach to Gentiles, didn’t go to their cities.
In fact, he refused and boarded a ship headed the opposite direction. But he ended up in the sea, and in a manner of speaking, was rescued. So, he reluctantly went to Nineveh and preached a message of repent or parish. And they repented, even the King.
The Greater Lesson
There was a time when Assyria was in chaos and vulnerable. That’s when Jonah preached to them and turned them to Yahweh. But later, after regaining their supremacy, they turned away from God and became Israel’s nemesis.
Did God preserve the Assyrians, so he could later use them to attack and deport the faithless people of Israel?
Did Jonah understand what God was doing? Could he see that the people he helped to turn to God would one day be used by God to attack his homeland?
I don’t know if Alexander wept or not. But Jonah did. He wasn’t a soldier, a general, or a conqueror of worlds. He was a prophet and he served God’s greater purpose.
God has a great purpose for us as well. Perhaps less grand than that of Jonah, but still a purpose of divine origin: to build up, to encourage, to serve and to be the light of God.
“Alexander wept for there were not more worlds to conqueror.”
Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t, it doesn’t really matter.
For we are the true conquerors.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”