Response of the Peace Officer
Briefing: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” Author Unknown. Please don’t teach this lie to your children.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 123.
On the Street: Our trials and tribulation will not always be violent. As a matter of fact, in this country, you may never be forced to choose between arrest and faith because of what you believe. The greatest persecution you could face may be similar to what the writer of this psalm was facing.
How do we respond to this kind of “passive oppression”? This psalm gives us a good example. We look to God, “I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.” This should be our default when facing persecution. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane He could have called down enough angels to destroy the entire earth. Instead of fighting the puppets of the enemy, Jesus chose to be obedient to the character His Father expected. Jesus looked to God and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39.
Our deliverance comes from God, not from our own counterattack. “Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt.” Webster’s Dictionary defines contempt as the feeling or actions of a person toward something he considers low, worthless, or beneath notice; disrespect; scorn. There is a part of the population that has a great deal of contempt for our entire Criminal Justice System. We cannot afford to categorize them as enemies but should pray for their hearts and minds.
Verse 4 finishes with, “We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant, of contempt from the proud.” We must realize that, until Christ returns, we will have to face hate and contempt. This has been and will continue to be a way of life. Since we are not going to be able to avoid it, we must learn how to deal with it.
This psalm and Psalm 121 start out very similarly, “I lift my eyes”. When I face ridicule and contempt I will lift my eyes to the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. I will make a pledge not to strike back with my tongue or in my actions. I will forgive but, in the wisdom God has given me, I will not forget. I will forgive, not once, not twice, but will forgive seventy times seven. I will pray for discernment and protection from the puppets of the evil one who will try to steal my joy. I will keep my eyes and my focus on you, Father. Teach me your ways so that I may walk in them. Give me the strength to be bold and courageous. Help me to tame my tongue and not be a stumbling block to those who do not know You. Let me be a reflection of You that I may lead others to the way of Christ.
Investigational Resources: Psalm 121, John 17:15-23.
Officer Safety Principle: This weapon of war is humility and the understanding that God will provide and protect. It may not happen immediately but trust God. He knows what He is doing and His timing is perfect.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 2
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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