Recently, I heard Joel Haynes preach on this text and apply the characteristics of these three animals and the king to Jesus Christ. He emphasized that these four are comely “in going.” I had missed that in my reading of this text. Thinking about this text, I also see similarities between us and these four. That’s what we’ll preach tonight.
You are “going” when you are doing what you are supposed to be doing for the Lord. You are not to be sitting idle. And when you “go well” you are like these three animals and this king.
Notice these similarities between us and:
A lion – “The righteous are bold as a lion,” [Prov 28:1]. The apostles prayed for boldness in Acts 4:29-31. They recognized that they needed to be bold to keep preaching the gospel despite the threatenings against them to stop. Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for boldness in Eph 6:18-19. We know how courageous he was. He was thwarted by opposition every where he preached. Yet he asked for prayer. We need boldness, as well. And we can be bold because Jesus, who is the Lion of the tribe of Juda [Rev 5:5] stands with us against our adversary [1 Pet 5:8]. When we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, Jesus delivers us just like he delivered Paul [2 Tim 4:16-17]. So, keep going. You are comely as a lion when you go well.
A greyhound – greyhounds have the best eyesight of any dog. They are not known as endurance runners. They are very fast sprinters. In Heb 12:1-2, we run our race patiently like a marathon race; not like a sprint. But notice, that we must keep our eyes on Jesus. We are to be “looking unto Jesus.” Therefore, we must have excellent eyesight like greyhounds. And when we are going, we must sprint to close the gap anytime any distance begins to develop between us and the Lord. We run our race like a fartlek. It’s a distance race, with bursts of sprints throughout. We sprint to close the gap between us and the Lord, and we sprint as soon as we are led by the Holy Spirit to do something that he wants done now. Consider how quickly Philip responded to the Lord in Acts 8:26-27 and Acts 8:39-40. So, keep going and go well. You are comely as a greyhound in going.
A he goat – he goats are sure-footed in rocky, high terrain. When the Lord found us, he lifted us out of a horrible pit and set our feet upon a rock [Ps 40:1-2]. And once we got cleaned up he began leading us into higher elevations. We are pressing “toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” [Phil 3:13-14]. God’s way is the narrow way and the high way is even narrower. We are seeking higher ground, as we sing in the hymn Higher Ground. How do we negotiate the high ground? We need two things. Our steps must be ordered in the words of God [Ps 119:133] and we must follow the steps of Jesus [1 Pet 2:21] who has gone before us. So, keep going and go well. You are as comely as a he goat in going.
A king – right now we suffer reproach and persecution in this world as the servants and children of God. This world hates Christians. Many Christians throughout the centuries have been martyred. Nevertheless, if you are willing to suffer with the Lord now, one day, you will return with him as a king [Rev 1:5-6; 19:11-16]. And when we do, there will be “no rising up.” Our army will be invincible [Joel 2:7-11]. The tide will surely turn one day. And we will be comely in going when we are riding behind our King of Kings as he comes to take his place on Davids’ throne. So, keep going; don’t quit now.
Conclusion: these three animals and this king are not so comely just sitting around. They are comely when they are “in going” and when they “go well.” So, if you are going, don’t stop now. And if you haven’t gotten going yet, get going!!