“Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.” Judges 3:1-4
The children of Israel crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land. God had left some of the heathen people there to see if the children of Israel would obey Him amid the temptations that the heathen presented. Unfortunately, Israel didn’t do well: “And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.” (Judges 3:6). The Israelites made friends, then marriages, with the heathen people. They started talking, acting, and eventually, worshiping like the heathen, and “…forgat their LORD their God, and served Baalim [false gods] and the groves.” (Judges 3:7).
If you’re a Christian in any secular environment—especially police work—you’ll be around people who don’t know Jesus as Saviour. They may have religion, but they’re not saved. They’ll talk and act like unsaved people. They’ll use language that unsaved people use, and talk about things that unsaved people talk about. They’ll also want you to talk and act like them, like the Israelites did with the heathen.
Consider it a test. Just like God used the heathen to test Israel, He’s allowing you to be in that situation to test you. As a cop, if your partner asks you to stop in the bar with some of the guys after work, will you do it? In a tight-knit job like police work, you don’t want people to dislike you. Do you?
On the other hand, will it please the Lord if you’re sitting in a bar? You know the answer. You’re in a place that sells something sinful that God’s Word condemns. Even if you’re only drinking pop (or if you prefer, “soda”), you’re still supporting a dirty business, and no one can tell what you’re drinking. So, even with a pop, it doesn’t look good. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
The choice is very clear-cut. Tell your partner, “no thanks”. If he asks why, don’t preach at him. Just ask the Lord to help you give him a simple answer why not. If you’ll do what’s right and be willing to face the consequences, you’ll be surprised how God will bless. First, you probably won’t get the hostile reaction you think you might get; second, your testimony for Christ will be helped; and third, God will use a victory in this trial to encourage you for future victories in future trials.
If you want to have a good testimony for Christ and still get along well with “the guys,” be the best cop you can be. Go out of your way to do more than your share. Be nice to the dispatcher. Take calls that other cops fluff off. Work hard. Be on time, in uniform. You’ll face trials anywhere as a Christian, but the Lord will give you grace for every trial. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 He says, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” One beloved hymn says,” All the way my Saviour leads me—Cheers each winding path I tread, Gives me grace for every trial, feeds me with the living bread.”
If you don’t know Jesus as Saviour but want to know more, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822
“And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” Job 1:14-15
Job was a servant of God. He was also wealthy and had ten children. God had put a hedge of protection around him. One day Satan challenged God. He said that Job only served God because He protected him, but if God let Job’s possessions be harmed, Job would curse God to His face. Satan asked God for permission to trouble Job in this way. God gave it, and the devil went to work. If you look at our opening passage, you’ll see the first thing that happened. A group known as the Sabeans attacked Job’s property. The servants were farming and caring for the livestock, and these Sabeans came without provocation and stole Job’s livestock and murdered his servants in cold blood.
The Bible doesn’t say much about the Sabeans. This passage tells us that they—at least some of them—were a gang of bloodthirsty criminals. Imagine what a horrific scene it was after they left: dead bodies lying contorted all over the ground with gushing wounds and throats cut. Did you ever have to handle a gruesome homicide scene? If you did, you can probably still remember some of the sickening details.
What does this passage tell us? For one thing, it tells us that the devil uses people who are willing to do wrong. This probably wasn’t the first time that these Sabean thugs had done something like this. Why did they choose Job’s property this time? Because Satan enticed them to do it. They probably learned of Job’s property, thought it was a good idea to do what they did, and went ahead with their plan to massacre the servants and steal the livestock. Little did they know that Satan had led them. Whether they knew or even cared, they were acting as his servants, doing his dirty work.
What can you do with this passage? One thing you can do is share it with someone you arrest. The next time you arrest someone, especially for a violent crime and especially if he’s in a gang, you might want to ask him at the booking window, “How does it feel to serve Satan?” Ask in a serious way, not joking. If he looks at you funny, tell him the story of the Sabeans. He may be shocked that a cop knows anything about the Bible, but maybe—just maybe—he’ll listen. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” God’s word is powerful. He uses it to deal with people’s hearts about their wrongdoing like no man can.
Why would you say that to a suspect? You would do it because you’re the police. You’re the good guy, no matter what the media or anyone else says otherwise. You risk your life fighting criminals, and unlike most of them, you care about people, even people who do wrong. You don’t want people’s lives destroyed if you can help avoid it. Your young suspect may go on in his criminal career and end up being shot to death by a home owner, or the police, or even by another thug. People might make a memorial with flowers and teddy bears tied to a pole for him, but that wouldn’t help him, because if he died without Christ as Saviour, he’d spend eternity in hell with the devil that he had chosen to serve. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
By sharing the story of the Sabeans, you’re really showing him love, “tough love”; certainly more love than his thug buddies do. Wouldn’t it be great to learn later that he went straight and even accepted Christ because some cop told him about the Sabeans? God can do amazing things in people’s lives with His word.
Please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar to the right to see how to receive Jesus as your personal Saviour and to be sure of going to heaven.
Brian Miller 8/19/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216-671-2822
“When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God” (Psalm 73:16-17)
John 5:19 says, “…the whole world lieth in wickedness.” Cops understand the truth of that statement far better than most people. As a cop, you see some of the vilest human behavior on earth. A Bible-believing church is supposed to be, among other things, a sanctuary from the world’s wickedness. “…strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.” (Psalm 96:6). A Bible church is a place where Jesus’ name is revered, not used as a swear word; a place where God’s Word is honored, not ridiculed; a place for music to honor the Lord and turn attention to Him, not to draw a crowd by appealing to worldly musical tastes.
A Bible church is a place to renew your strength for spiritual battle. As a Christian, though, you’re likely to be tempted to quit church because of all the sin you see on the job. That’s what the psalmist went through in Psalm 73. He said, “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (verses 2-3). The psalmist had wrong thinking. He had become envious of wicked people.
What did he see? He saw that they held power: “…their strength is firm.” (verse 4). They got away with wrongdoing: “They are not in trouble as other men…” (verse 5). They were full of themselves: “Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain…” (verse 6). They were filthy rich: “…they have more than heart could wish.” (verse 7). They were dishonest: They are corrupt…” (verse 8). They blasphemed God: “They set their mouth against the heavens…” (verse 9). They didn’t fear God: “And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?” (verse 11). He also saw that, for all their wickedness, they seemed to do very well: “Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.” (verse 12).
He started to think that he was wasting his time striving to live right and please the Lord: “Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.” (verse 13). He complained about his life: “For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.” (verse 14). The whole situation was painful to think about: “When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;” (verse 16).
“Until I went into the sanctuary of God…” (verse 17). When he went to church with God’s people and heard God’s music and God’s Word, God made him see the end of the wicked: “…then understood I their end. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.” (verses 17-19).
The writer was ashamed of his lack of faith: “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.” (verses 21-22). He was glad, though, that God had reassured him of His love and eternal presence: “Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.” (verses 23-24). God was his help amid his human frailty: “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (verse 26). He concluded, “But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.” (verse 28).
So with all the sin you see, don’t think that God isn’t in control or that serving Him is a waste. “Draw near to God” by faithfully going to a Bible-believing church. God will encourage your heart with His music, His people, and His word. If you want to see in the Bible how to be sure that you’ll go to heaven when you die, please click, “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar to the right.
Brian Miller 8/12/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216-671-2822