The painting is a depiction of Faust near the end of his life, and is depicted as a chess game. The devil is the man in green who is viciously looking at Faust, and is seemingly saying, "checkmate in two moves." Faust is anxiously looking over the chess board desperately seeking a way out of his predicament, but is appears to be resigning himself that all is lost. An angel watches over the situation and appears sad and unable/unwilling to provide any help. Soon the game of life will be over and all will be lost.
30 years later a colored engraving of the painting winds up in the home of Rev. R. R. Harrison, who has invited guests over for tea and to spend the evening together. Rev. Harrison had previously practiced law for many years and had gained many noteworthy friends. At dinner that night was (among others) Capt. Franklin Buchanan who would later become an Admiral in the Confederate Navy and captain the famous ship the Merrimac. Also in attendance was a lawyer named Paul Morphy who was well known as one of the best chess players of the day. There were several other exceptional chess players in attendance. After dinner the Rev. took his guests to view the engraving, where upon Mr. Morphy having carefully studied the picture, exclaimed: "I could take the young man's position and win the game." All those who were in attendance expressed disbelief that it could be done. They set up a chess board with the layout of the painting, and one by one Mr. Morphy took Faust's position and defeated all the guests who were well versed in chess and were confident in their ability to win with the devils' position on the board.
For 30 years that painting depicted satan wining the soul of a man who had sinned much, and all it took was a grand master better than the devil, to defeat and snatch from his grip a soul he was sure he had.
The bible is full of many such stories, where it looked like the devil was saying, "mate in 2 moves," but in each one of them God the greatest Grand Master of all stepped into the situation and won the game that seemed hopelessly lost.
3 Hebrew boys were headed to a fiery furnace, and the devil said, "mate in 2, but God turned it around. Daniel was thrown in the lions den, "mate in 2, but King had another move. The Jews were backed up against the Red Sea, "mate in 2," but the King had another move and split the Red Sea in two. A thief was hanging on the cross, the sentence of death was on him, and his life was just about to expire, "mate in 2," but the King had another move - "This day you will be with me in paradise."
How about you? Are you facing a "mate in 2," situation. No matter how desperate, no matter how far gone, no matter how many pieces you have lost on the chess board, there is a King who has another move and can turn it all around for you.