Briefing: After more than 25 years as a police officer, there are not many things that surprise me. I have seen the horrific acts humans do to each other. I have watched evil try to destroy good. Human beings can be inconsiderate and selfish.
There is one thing that still makes me do a double take. It is when someone goes around a police barricade. I guess they don’t trust that law enforcement officers are trying to keep them out of trouble. Maybe they think we have found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and are trying to keep them from it, so they drive around the flares and the cones and go right into the danger you were warning them about.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 49.
On the Street: This is a Psalm most of us can relate to. Generally, peace officers are not wealthy individuals. Most law enforcement officers I know have to work off duty jobs to cover unforeseen expenses and extras, like our kid’s college expenses or weddings. We are wise to the ways of the world but were not the brainy book smart kids who wound up going to medical school or law school.
Verse 5 starts the warning to those who are wealthy and wise in their own eyes. We get a healthy dose of reality that says no amount of fame and fortune can save you. The things humans chase after in this world will not build a bridge to the next life. This is why the Bible says we must take the road less traveled found in Matthew 7:13-14.
When I read verses 10-12 I think about a light hearted joke I hear people repeat whenever they talk about wealth and death. “You never see a U-Haul hooked up to a hearse, you can’t take it with you when you die.”
If your salvation is secure then this Psalm is confirmation and instruction to how we carry out the rest of our life. Those who have trusted in Jesus Christ for their salvation can rest assured they will be with God in heaven after death. Those who have not put their trust in Jesus are bound for hell. It is such an easy decision, heaven or hell.
At least once a year I will watch a post on social media where someone is talking about this subject. I think it is one of the best arguments I have seen. If I am wrong and there is no heaven or hell, I have lost nothing. If I am right and there is a heaven, can you imagine the joy I will have with Jesus? On the other hand, to the non-believer, if you are right and there is no heaven or hell then you may be at peace knowing you will only be worm dirt. If you are wrong, however, you will spend eternity in a burning lake of fire, tortured and tormented forever.
Verse 20 is for those Christians who have wealth. Having lots of money is not a curse. The Bible says that the love of money is a root of all evil. You can have money and still go to heaven. Having money leads to a spiritual blessing called generosity. Actually you don’t have to have money to be generous but being generous with your money is a blessing.
“A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish.” There are warning signs on the major highways of life that are telling us the bridge is out. Understanding the warning signs and heeding their warning is paramount to being saved. Having the understanding of Truth and knowing there is only one way to the Father, and that is through His son Jesus.
Investigational Resources: Proverbs 1:20-32, Matthew 7:13-14.
Officer Safety Principle: “There is a way that leads to life, the few that find it never die” (Petra, Road to Zion).
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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