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No Middle Ground

Briefing: Are you the good guy or the bad guy, the righteous or the wicked?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 1.

On the Street: Most things are black and white, right or wrong, good or evil. You are either alive or dead, either saved or unsaved, either with God or against God. As law enforcement officers, I believe we would have a unanimous answer to the question, “Are we the good guys or the bad guys?” What do you think the percentage would be if peace officers were asked, “Are you the righteous or the wicked?”

I believe we are living in the grayest culture of all time. There does not seem to be any clear black and white issues any longer. Everyone has an excuse or an exemption. There are “loop holes” for every law. For example, there was a time when you were either male or female. Things were either illegal or they were lawful. The law was the law and it did not matter what state you lived in. Now legality is challenged. Some follow the law and some make their own laws. Most people don’t want to be told what to do. So, they make their own rules and if that does not work, they change the definition or boundaries of what is considered right and wrong. We are one of the most rebellious cultures and societies that have ever existed.

When law enforcement officials decorate police units with rainbow stickers yet refuse to allow “In God We Trust” or “One Nation under God” on their cars, they are sending a message. One of my favorite Bible teachers has coined a phrase, “don’t let the world teach you theology”. The messages we get from the world are contrary to God’s Word. The first verse of Psalms says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” Be careful of the company you keep and do not let them teach you their morality. You have God’s Word to teach you right and wrong.

Verse two says, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.” We are men and women who have committed our lives to uphold what is right and lawful. This goes even further, telling us if we want to know the truth behind the law, read God’s Word. We must meditate on it and know it in our mind and in our heart.

God gives a blessing for the righteous in verse three, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” If your hope is the salvation provided by Jesus Christ, everything you do on this earth leads to the joy of that salvation.

Let’s look at the curse of the wicked. The wicked do not count or last. They are so insignificant to God’s economy that they are described as being blown away like pollen. “Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.”

Verse one tells us not to stand with sinners. Remember the saying, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything”? What do you stand for? We read in verse five, “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” What you decide to stand for matters. Not only does it matter but you will also be judged by it.

Lastly, “For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Again, verse one said do not stand in their way. We will still share faith and life with them but we will not join in their way of life or stand for the things they stand for. We will pray for them and hope their hearts will turn to God.

If we are called to be the good guy then we must live a life of righteousness. We must be obedient to the Word of God and His commandment. After all, it is God’s Word that tells us to obey the authority set before us. We are not politicians, we are peace officers. We are called to show respect, have compassion, help those in need, stand up for what is right and true, keep our focus and composure in the worst of situations, and yes, protect and serve. That is what we are called to do. Are we the good guys? If the answer is yes then the next question is, “Are you the righteous or the wicked?”

Investigational Resources: Hosea 7:5, Proverbs 1:22, 4:14, 10:23, Job 29:19, Joshua 1:8, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Isaiah 58:11, 61:3.

Officer Safety Principle: Remember, there are only two choices; no gray area here. You are either with God or you are against God. You are either righteous or you are wicked. The choice is yours.

from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!