Briefing: Most law enforcement officers have spent time working the midnight shift. Some like it and stay. Others leave and never go back.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 134.
On the Street: There are several occupations that work around the clock. Grocery stores that stock shelves at night, 24 hour gas stations, firemen when they are not sleeping, and hospital staff to name a few.
The night watch has always been a dangerous shift to work. As long as evil exists in this world, there will be a need for peace officers to work in the darkness. Psalm 74:20 says, “Have regard for your covenant, because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.” Verse one says, “Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord.” We are God’s servants who minister in the darkness. Just because we minister in the darkness does not mean we live or stay in the darkness. We only go there for the purpose God has given us. Ephesians 5:11, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” This verse explains our reason for going into the darkness.
Evil people like to do their evil deeds at night were they think no one will see them. Isaiah 29:15 says, “Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” Christians know God sees us even at the darkest times of our lives. John 3:19, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
Peace officers are called to work and minister in the darkness. We must expose the evil and bring light into the dark places. The light is the Word of God, the good news of Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:6 says, “If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” Walking in the darkness implies you are living there. We are not to live in darkness but we do have to work in darkness.
We know the truth of God and that is what protects us from the darkness. Proverbs 4:19, “But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” To keep our spirits in the light, we follow verse 2 which says, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.” Keeping our focus on God keeps us from getting stuck in the junk that hides in the darkness.
Another important thing to remember about the darkness is found in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We hate the sin, not the sinner. This is very important. 1 John 2:9, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.” 1 John 2:11, “But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” We cannot afford to hate people, even the evil people. We must train ourselves to pray for them and trust God will carry out His vengeance on their evil deeds. This may take some time and you may struggle with it but be patient and continue to ask God for help in this matter.
We are called to minister at night, even in the darkness.
Investigational Resources: Psalm 119:105.
Officer Safety Principle: Romans 13:12, “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 2
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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