Briefing: Law enforcement is a job that puts men and women in the dirtiest and most evil pockets of our society. How we deal with it can impact every aspect of our lives. How has this job influenced your life?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 5.
On the Street: This Psalm starts out like one that was written specifically for law enforcement. Starting in verse 4, “You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors.”
When, in verse 7, David says, “But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house;” David is acknowledging he has been one of those men. He admits he is only allowed in God’s house because of God’s “great mercy”.
Let us not blur the lines of what God has called us to. We can easily turn into the thing we hate simply by spending too much time around it.
I spent some time with the Dallas Vice unit in the early 90’s. I remember one of the vice officers telling me not to transfer here or spend any more time in vice than I had to. He said that spending time in this unit and constantly being in the gutter of society with all the filth, porn, prostitution and every vile sexual act you can imagine, will eventually warp the mind of anyone.
In verse 8 David prays, “Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies, make straight your way before me.” How often do we pray this prayer? My ways can become crooked and warped if I am not following God’s path. David understood this and asked God to “make straight your way before me.” This is what I call a “light bulb verse”. When I hear this verse, the light switches on in my brain. I understand if I can just do this, it can lead me to being a better Christian, father, husband and officer.
But what about your fellow officers who are also exposed to the filth and evil of this dark world? Verses 9 and 10 suggest that allowing the council of these people into our lives is just as destructive. How do we discern who they are and when not to listen to them? I cannot stress how important it is to pray for their protection as well. These are your friends, co-workers and family. These people hold influence over you. Their minds are just as susceptible to becoming warped by the evil they swore to fight against. This effects our work, our families, our Christian testimony and our living witness to others.
David tells us how to defeat this evil influence. He says to take refuge in God. We have to test everything we hear against the Word of God found in the Bible. When we do this, we find ourselves on the straight path that David talks about in verse 8.
The verses that bring this chapter to a close are the prayers we all need to be voicing before we get in our cars and hit the streets. David prays, “Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” My question to all law enforcement is: Are you God’s righteous? Are you praying for and seeking the right way or are you being influenced by the evil that surrounds you?
Investigational Resources: 2 Corinthians 10:5 and the armor of God found in Ephesians chapter 6.
Officer Safety Principle: Pray for God’s protection over the heart, mind and souls of the officers who have to work in these places. Pray that His protection will prevent them from being influenced by the evil around them.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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