As a retired judge (who still sits by assignment or for a judge who needs to be away from court), a recent TV news story caught my attention. It occurred in a Las Vegas courtroom as a judge was about to sentence a young man to prison. Before the pronouncement could be made, you see this man go flying over the bench and attack the judge. A number of people have asked me what I thought about it, if I had ever been threatened and what kind of protection judges have. I anticipate that all the judges who have ever heard criminal or family law cases have been the recipients of threats (including me!). As you can imagine, the word “protection” can be very important.
The dictionary definition of protection is: “a person or thing that prevents someone or something from suffering harm or injury”.
There are groups of people we seek to protect: our children at school, those who become ill, those attending church, our elected officials, our family members and even people like football players by requiring helmets and pads.
We also spend a lot of time protecting “things”. My bank account, my retirement account, my house, my car, my job, etc.
Protection can take many forms. We can put up physical or emotional barriers; we can limit where we go or who we see; we can provide protection through security or law enforcement officers; some people are reportedly buying firearms; or we can allow fear to paralyze and dominate us to the point we refuse to go anywhere or do anything.
As we have learned through seeing tragic events over the last several years, nothing we do can protect us, our loved ones or our property from every situation. Bad things still happen to good people – including people with a deeply held faith in God. What do we do? I think the answer is less about what we do, and more about who we trust.
There are many Bible verses that tell us where our true protection is found:
Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in Him.”
John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
In my first book A Pastor’s Pit, I was seeking to create an awareness of the need to protect our religious liberties and our pastors who speak the truth of the Bible. In my second book The Kid’s Pit, I was seeking to create an awareness of the need to protect our children. In both books there were events that caused harm that were not caused by those being harmed. The need to rely upon God for protection – rather than people or the total elimination of hurtful events – became evident. We need to realize and understand that trust and reliance upon God through Jesus has to be the source of our ultimate protection rather than any other earthly protections I may seek to obtain or provide.