God, Chief Justice
Briefing: If it were not for the annual review of legislative updates, I would not be able to keep up with the new laws and the changes to the existing laws.
Dispatch (Assignment): Before you read today’s psalm, list, on a piece of paper, what you think would be the foundational characteristics of God. What do you think He founded His creation on? Once you have written down your answers, read Psalm 97.
On the Street: The question you just read has been influenced by the thoughts in a previous psalm which this psalm revisits, along with several others. Verse 1, “The LORD reigns” was part of Psalm 96’s lesson. Verse 2, “righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne.” This thought was also expressed in Psalm 89:14. Verse 8 speaks of Zion. Psalm 87 is also focused on Zion.
Let’s look again at verse 2, “Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.” In the Dispatch section, you were asked to write down your thoughts on what God’s foundational characteristics might be. Depending on your path to Christian maturity, and where you are on that journey, your answers will reflect what you have been taught about God.
My upbringing would have lead me to list holiness, majesty, glory, love, compassion, mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, light, awesomeness, creator, and so forth. The list could be very long, or very short. Most people would be surprised to find the foundation of God’s throne is not on this list. I was stunned, yet encouraged.
God chose to build the foundation of His throne on righteousness and justice. We have discussed, in previous devotions, how God is a good Father who does not withhold disciple from His children. We live in a culture that looks down on the parent/child relationship. Everyone wants to be friends with their children instead of being a parent who follows Biblical principles. Love comes from discipline. Love is doing the hard things, not just looking the other way and hoping things will turn out for the best.
As a law enforcement officer, it is encouraging to know the GOD of the universe and Creator of all, has my back when it comes to carrying out the duties of my job. There are lots of professions that could claim to be under this umbrella, they could manipulate a part of their job and say that in some small way they uphold righteousness and justice. The truth is, we in law enforcement, perform the job duties that support the foundation of God’s throne.
I had a friend ask me one day, “Do you know that God is proud of you?” I did but it had never been put to me as a question. Did you know God is proud of the men and women of law enforcement, as long as they do it right? I don’t say this arrogantly, we are servants and guardians who work behind the scenes. I say this so you can be proud of what God has called you to. When you get yelled at, spit on, or punched, know God sees the sacrifice you make to carry out justice. When you get that look from a citizen that lets you know how much they dislike you when they won’t wave back or speak to you, know this; they may not like you but God is proud of you.
Verses 10 through 12 paint a picture of God protecting and guiding the steps of the men and women who have stood up for righteousness and justice. God is proud of those who not only have committed their life to law enforcement but have done it while making a public stand for Him, glorifying and praising the Giver of Justice.
“Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for He guards the lives of His faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light shines on the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise His holy name.”
Investigational Resources: Psalm 89:14, James 1:22.
Officer Safety Principle: We have the justice part down to a science; how are we doing on the righteousness? Make a commitment to God and ask for Him to teach you righteousness.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 2
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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