Summary: We invited the local Chief of Police to speak to our congregation and to our youth. After his talk, this is the short message we gave to close the service.
TO PROTECT AND TO SERVE
That motto is used to describe the original description of our federal government’s purpose. It is primarily to protect "we the people" from those in our society that would hurt us so that Americans can live in the pursuit of happiness.
That being said, it would be sheer fantasy to think that a federal government can do all this to every single community in this great land. We are far too big and cover too large of an area for that to be possible. To accomplish that, we would have to have a government police force that numbers in the millions.
So, what have we done? We have created a tiered form of authority, with each tier responsible for a certain area to protect. We have allowed each state to have its own state police, which patrol the boundaries of that state, and then we have allowed each county to have a county police department that does the same thing for the different counties within the state.
And, carrying that down even further, we have established local police departments for every city and town within those counties. We have had to do it this way in order to have each citizen fully protected in the best possible way. Most of us have been raised to think of the police as our friends and protectors.
That is how we see the police. Now, let’s take a look at how God view our policemen:
MATTHEW 5:9 reads;
“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”
Policemen of all levels are our peacemakers. They are the ones who stand in the gap and try to keep the peace, all too often in an ever-increasing world of violence.
God is a God of orderliness. He is not a God of chaos or upheaval. He instituted a hierarchy in all areas of life, and one of those hierarchies are our authorities. In the Old Testament, we see where God told Moses to appoint judges who would hear cases involving the Israelites so that peace could be maintained.
Keeping an orderly society was so important to God, that He even gave us specific instructions on how to handle those people who do not honor the sanctity of life.
5 “God will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. 6 If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in His own image.”
Having a peaceful society is necessary in order to enable the people to worship God. And to keep the peace, we must have peacemakers. But peacemakers must sometimes enforce the peace by taking troublemakers into custody and/or punishing them.
ROMANS 13:4 gives us a warning concerning our actions and how policemen could be involved.
“The authorities are God's servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God's servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.”
But God not only gave us the police to help protect us and to serve us by keeping the peace in our society, He gave us instructions on our relationship with the police.
TITUS 3:1 tells us,
“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good …”
And when someone does something terribly wrong to us, we are to let the policemen, God’s appointed servants, handle any retribution.
ROMANS 12:19 says,
“Do not take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.”
When we take it upon ourselves to right a wrong, we will invariably let our emotions get in the way of good judgment because we are under the influence of Satan. This can cause us to either overact or do something that we should not do, or even cause us to miss-judge our actions and do something that will end up hurting ourselves. Leave all revenge up to God and His servants, the police.
God has specifically called us to obey all duly appointed authority.
HEBREWS 13:17 reads,
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over you, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do their duty with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
It never ceases to amaze me how many people think. Years ago, I knew a man who had nothing good to say about any authority at all. He was solidly against having anyone in command, saying that all they did was push others around so they could get what they wanted.