January 9th was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. In my service to the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office as a Chaplain, I have come to observe and appreciate how these law enforcement officers, together with West Concord Police Department and Kasson Police Department serve our county. I have also gained an increasing awareness of how these men and women are ministers of God in their occupation.
Romans 13 says, “For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 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.”
In Biblical language, it is very clear that the authorities of Law Enforcement are called God’s Servants (God’s Ministers). And that you do not have to be afraid of them if you are doing right. But they do have a mandate from God, and really a biblical job description toward those who are law abiding citizens as well as those that are evil people. Psalm 82:3–4 “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.”
We are all used to seeing those who do patrol and I have done ride alongs with patrol officers and have seen them operate in the capacities described in the passage of scripture above. At the same time there are those who are just as involved behind the scenes, whether it be in administration, dispatch, investigations, records, the courts, and more. All are serving in their various capacities as God’s Ministers.
We appreciate our Law Enforcement Officers, and we pray for their safety. We pray blessing upon them even as Jesus did when he spoke to the multitudes of people gathered on a hill (his sermon on the mount), Matthew 5:9 “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.”