When It’s Better to Say Goodbye

Text: Proverbs 30:29-31

These verses have a prophetic application to the antichrist.  He is a king, like a lion, fast a greyhound, and contentious as a goat.  The chapter begins with the prophecy and this entire chapter has application to the tribulation time.  That application is drawn from some simple, practical, wise observations in life.

Saying goodbye can be a very painful thing to do.  Suffering untimely loss and you’re forced to say goodbye when you weren’t planning on it.  As a general rule, goodbyes are tough.  We moved a little bit when I was in high school, and I ended up going to four different high schools.  Goodbyes became a pretty common thing at that time.  And because of that I didn’t make too many real close friends.  Not necessarily because I knew we would be moving, but just because we did move and a year is not a lot of time to spend with people.

On the other hand, goodbyes can be a welcome event.  Sometimes a goodbye is the healthiest thing that can happen.  Sometimes a goodbye allows people to grow the way they need to.  Sometimes a goodbye keeps the fire away from the fuse.  Sometimes a goodbye is the way God wants to get his work done.  Sometimes a goodbye prevents further destruction.  You get the idea that while some goodbyes are very difficult, others are necessary and can be welcome.

When approach only represents a threat

  • It can be exciting to watch lions from a distance.  You can take pictures of this king of beasts while staying far enough away from danger.  But if that lion looks up and begins heading in your direction, everything changes.  Majesty turns to fear.
  • And that’s what
  • Sometimes goodbye is safety.  I don’t want to see him coming, I want to see him going.  That lion is comely in going.
  • For a new testament Christian, these things represent an approaching lion.
    • Flee fornication. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
    • Flee idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14)
    • Flee youthful lusts. (2 Timothy 2:22)
    • False teachers.  Lovers of money. (1 Timothy 6:3-11)
  • This goodbye removes an immediate threat.

When your control hinders the work of God

  • Greyhound is made for the chase.  They can run 40 mph.  Someone said they are the Ferraris of the dog world.
  • People started using them as racing dogs for gambling because they were made for the chase.  Kings used them for thousands of years.  This is recorded by a king 3000 years ago.
  • The illustration with the greyhound is that he is meant to be let go.  Keeping him close is keeping him from doing what he’s made to do.
  • Puts someone to work who needs to be sent off to labor like in Acts.
  • Control is what some folks use instead of trusting the Lord.
  • These represent a greyhound in chains.
    • Pastors keep good people close when the Lord is trying to move them off.  Heard a pastor say sending missionaries hurts our church.  You get rid of the good ones and the bad ones stick around.  You don’t send the bad ones to the mission field.  But reality is the body of Christ is made better when good folks are sent out to multiply the work.
    • Children can be manipulated by parents and parents can be manipulated by children.
  • How do you keep them close, control them?
    • Criticism.  Now that sounds wrong because no one enjoys criticism.  But control can be exercised in exaggerated criticism that keeps people feeling like they can’t do anything anyway.
    • Flattery.  The opposite of that is flattery where folks given to pride can be easily manipulated by flattery.  Make the rich guy a deacon so the money keeps coming in.  Ignore everything else about his life.
    • Past held over someone’s head.
  • The things God’s given you in salvation.  The tools of reconciliation that do no good pent up.
  • This goodbye allows the greyhound to run like he’s suppose to run

When contention can’t be resolved

  • The goat “buts”, and when you’re in his sights the only thing you’re trying to do is dodge his next “but.”
  • The goat is combative and destructive.
    • Use his hard headedness to “but” you every which way.
  • These things are represented by a butting goat:
    • Ignores generosity
    • Ignores opportunity
    • Ignores liberty
    • Destructive of boundaries
  • This goodbye removes contention.

When it eliminates judgment

  • You know what’s frustrating about tax season and the IRS is that they have the final say and there are no more appeals to make.  Government is the highest authority and no more appeal can be made.
  • No rising up against this king, there is nothing to counter his word on it.
  • This goodbye eliminates judgment.
  • Romans 8:1 says a carnal walk for a Christian is already condemned.
  • 1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

These are four things that are better going than they are coming.