Sucker Punched

Every time I watch footage of assaults on officers, I am stirred emotionally. When I see the strike, the officer down and injured, the adrenaline starts pumping. As I was reading Proverbs 3:25-26: “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” I was immediately reminded of some recent footage I reviewed of an assault on an officer.

The officer was escorting an inmate up the stairs when the inmate turned and punched the officer in the face with the obvious intent of knocking him down the steps. The inmate was unsuccessful as the officer kept his footing and was able to respond quickly to the assault and bring the inmate under control.

Look with me at a few word meanings from our verses that may help us consider some of the applications to our work:

  • Sudden: An unguarded moment
  • Desolation of the wicked: Comes from a word that means to rush over
  • Rush: To move or drive forward with impetuosity, violence and tumultuous rapidity—a storm!
  • A storm: Can bring desolation, destruction, ruin, and waste.

Many times those in our custody are like a violent storm that comes from nowhere with destructive force. I saw a storm in the footage I reviewed. The blow to the face was the desolation—the destruction. What a blessing that the officer was able to apply the knowledge he had gained in training. That is what wisdom is—application of what we have learned.

In corrections, we are often hit by many things from many sources, but the Lord “shall keep thy foot from being taken.” In other words, our footing does not have to be lost in the desolation and destruction. How well we know that we encounter more than physical blows in our work—the spiritual, mental, and emotional storms rage and threaten total ruin. When the desolation comes, sound footing is from the Lord. We can exercise wisdom by applying what God teaches us in our personal relationship with Him through His Word.

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