Briefing: When I was a rookie, I was taught how to be a police officer. I learned how to win a fight and to handle a call but, more importantly, I learned how to talk people into peaceful submission instead of fighting.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 44.
On the Street: Of all the things I was taught, the one thing that was never taught or impressed on me was the fact that law enforcement is a noble profession. We have to teach that and ingrain it into the mindset of new officers. There are requirements of this noble profession, righteousness, truth, justice, compassion and integrity, that need to be set as our foundation.
Verses 1-3 sound like an FTO passing down vital information to his/her trainee. In verse 3 comes the realization and teaching that it was God who deserves the glory for all of Israel’s victories, “It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.”
In verses 4-8, the rookie has learned and taken ownership of the mission. The rookie has also learned to put his/her trust in God, the creator of justice, and not the tools of justice. We would say, “I do not trust in my gun, my taser does not bring me victory; but you have given us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.”
Then comes 9-16; these verses not only speak of the times David is living in but it speaks to the times we are living in. People don’t trust law enforcement. We are forced to use body cameras to record our every action because our word means nothing. If we spend too much time thinking about how the public perceives us, we can forget this is a noble profession. We can forget we are in this job to help our community, not turn against it thinking they are the enemy.
In verses 17-18, David and his people reacted the same way our law enforcement personnel have. Even through the persecution, slanderous lies, and vilification of our profession we have stayed true to the noble goals of justice, protecting and serving our communities.
We must be careful to stay the course. The hard times on this earth are only for a short time. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that for outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17. By continuing to live out, and carry out righteousness both at home and on the job we are sending our paycheck forward and building on our future, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. – Matthew 6:20.
As David finishes out this Psalm he continues to express their hardships yet their trust and faith in God’s unfailing love. This is an example for all of us to follow. No matter how hard our circumstances, we must look to the God who loves us and trust He will see us through to the end.
It is not easy to remember and does not help much during the trials but remember this. A tree that enjoys beautiful sunny days all the time will eventually starve and die. There must be rainy days and storms for the tree to grow. There is an old Arab proverb that say, “All sunshine, all day, every day, makes a desert.”
We must remember the cause we have taken a stand for; nobility, righteousness, truth, justice, compassion and integrity. These things are not easy but they are worthy. We must stay the course until the end. We are instruments of God’s justice.
Investigational Resources: 2 Corinthians 4:17 and Matthew 6:20.
Officer Safety Principle: We must remember we are only tools to be used in the hand of the Master. In Isaiah 10:15 God asks, “Does the axe raise itself above him who swings it, or the saw boast against him who uses it?” All the glory goes to the One who us using the tool.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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