“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.

Brian Miller

Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822