Two Requirements to Carrying Out Justice
Briefing: When you graduate from police academy, you don’t go straight to the streets to work as a solo officer. Academy is just the first hurdle. Most people forget field training with a field training officer. You cannot be a peace officer without completing both.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 75.
On the Street: There are many psalms that seem to be written specifically for the peace keeper/guardian of that day. When reading this psalm, you can look at the language and infer it was written for them.
Verse 1 immediately gives praise to God. God’s response specifically calls attention to the importance of justice. Our God is holy and just. These two qualities are used more than any other to describe God. He is also merciful, compassionate, full of grace and love. He is a God of order. In Exodus 34:6-7, God reveals His character to Moses, “And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generations.”
When reading God’s own revelation of His character, we can see the balance between justice and love. He is slow to anger but does not leave the guilty unpunished. As a law enforcement officer, I can understand carrying out justice without anger. There are times I have felt sorry for people I have had to arrest. Most times I have compassion on the people I arrest and try to be as kind as the situation allows. I am sure you have all experienced the same kind of balance.
Verses 2-8 describe how God will carry out His justice. We know justice is ultimately His because He is the only one who is righteous and holy. We depend on Him to tell us what is righteous and what is wicked. Once we have been taught and understand this, we can move forward with justice. To carry out God’s justice as a law enforcement officer, you must understand you cannot be a hypocrite and hold the position of carrying out righteous judgment. This is substantiated in the next two verses.
If this is a psalm written to the guardians of the time, verses 9 and 10 apply directly to everyone serving in the Criminal Justice System. “As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob. I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.” Two specific actions are mentioned; praise and carrying out justice. A person praising God and giving Him glory is on a path to spiritual maturity/righteousness. Secondly, they are called to carry out justice. You can’t have one without the other.
If this hits home and you feel convicted of being hypocritical in your duties as a peace officer, it is not too late to get things right. Being a righteous guardian is as easy as accepting a gift at Christmas. Jesus Christ has provided salvation and righteousness for anyone who will repent of their sins, die to their old life, and live according to His example. There is nothing you can do to earn this free gift, He has already done all the work, all you need to do is cry out to Him and ask Him to save you.
If you have a life changing/saving experience with Christ, please, please, please seek out a few Christians and get plugged into a Bible believing fellowship. I would also encourage you to join the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers and find one of their local chapters to help you in your walk with Christ.
Investigational Resources: John 7:24, Psalm 19:9, Psalm 119:160, Romans 2:5.
Officer Safety Principle: Don’t let the importance of this devotional pass you by without addressing any issues of unrighteousness you may have in your life. Simply pray a sincere, honest prayer asking for forgiveness of sin.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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