Are there Biblical grounds to Support Law Enforcement?
Matthew 5:9 is often used as a reference to our peacekeepers, which include law enforcement, first responders, our military and many more? Attempting to understand the origin of the words spoken in biblical times is always a rewarding study exercise. It is worth noting, this exact Greek word, eirēnopoiós, was used only once in the Bible, and nowhere else. For anyone who likes to study the Bible, I think it emphasizes how unique this verse really is.
“Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
Eirēnopoiós, or peacemakers, translates from Greek as those who bravely declare God’s terms to those around them, which in turn, makes them whole. (See the reference below to review this term from Strong’s Bible Concordance online). This describes what an officer does on the job to a T. Can you hear the police officer saying, put the gun down, or step away from the car, or do you know how fast you were going? Yes, orders to comply with the law are given in simple and easy terms.
Before we dig deeper into the origins of the Greek words for this verse, it is helpful to know what the origins of our laws and justice system really are; loosely speaking, our justice system is based on biblical principles which can be traced all the way back to the Mosaic Law. For those who do not know, the Mosaic Law was written by God as the 10 commandments on tablets of stone and given to Moses. One of the Ten Commandments is, “Thou shalt not kill” (translated murder) which is easy to relate directly to our current system of laws.
In reviewing the translation from Greek, these men and women have been labeled as brave! See above, “they bravely declare God’s terms to those around them.” While only a few media sources refer to law enforcement as brave, the bible does not mince words. With so many officers and military men and women losing their lives every day, these words have never sounded sweeter.
The Greek translation of this word states those who work to keep the peace will be made whole, or complete. In other words, they will derive great satisfaction from their work and feel a deep sense of purpose. This is why those who choose careers in law enforcement, firefighting, the armed forces, or other areas of peace keeping are so unique. In American terms, peacemakers are God’s secret agents on earth, doing what he has chosen for them to do in order to keep so many of us safe.
Looking more closely at the term “children of God” in the KJV, the original Greek words can be translated as “those who have the spirit that has descended from God.” This is why we honor our law enforcement family members, whether they are on duty or they have transferred residence to heaven. When we honor law enforcement or any other peacekeeper, we honor God. Any wonder we hear stories about these men and women saving lives every day? God’s spirit is with them.
Does this mean law enforcement personnel who strive to keep the peace are infallible? That is an easy question to answer in the same manner Jesus used to teach us hard truths. In this case, we can hear Jesus asking us if we are infallible? I think most people will agree that no one is ever without blame. Regardless of the results of any specific case that law enforcement or our justice system tackles, I feel we have biblical grounds for supporting their role as special agents here on earth. Is it any wonder so many Christian’s honor and support law enforcement, our military, first responders and our commander in chief.
A final word of encouragement for all those who work to keep the peace can be found in Matthew 5:11- 12: “Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
I am not a religious person, but the Bible has words of wisdom that can be understood by anyone who reads it. God promises great reward for those who strive to serve as peacekeepers. While peacemakers are guaranteed persecution, they are also promised a great reward in heaven. For those who believe in heaven and endure so many risks on the job, these are words of comfort. So even though you do not hear people thanking you very often, it is nice to know the Big Guy upstairs is also thankful and will tell you so Himself one day.
Jennifer Edwards – I am a huge supporter of law enforcement, and serve on the Eastern NC Board for InfraGard; I am the Outreach and Education Liason. This is an alliance between law enforcement (FBI) and private businesses in an effort to protect our countries infrastructure.
Strong’s Bible Concordance can be used to study the meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek, giving the Bible a much richer meaning. Such bible study tools can be accessed at the following URL: Greek word, eirēnopoiós, http://biblehub.com/greek/1518.htm.