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Psalm 82:3-4 – Defend the weak and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

Jeremiah 22:3 – Thus says the Lord, “Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place.”

1 John 3:16-17 – We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Isaiah 58:10 – And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.

     An enforcer is an unofficial position in hockey whose job is to deter and respond to dirty or violent play by the opposition. Many claim this is needed to police the game, to protect players from over aggressive and dangerous plays. This is a challenging concept for me to use to reflect something good because I believe the enforcer role in hockey is marred by misuse and wrong intentions, and personally wish the role would be taken out of hockey by leagues making the punishments for offenses severe enough that players wouldn’t target opposing team’s players or give careless, dangerous checks. But as much as I dislike the idea of having a designated player to ‘enforce’ the other teams behavior, I believe that protecting those who can’t defend themselves is great in God’s sight, and this is the part of the enforcer that I believe is good. I commend those who protect their teammates in righteousness. There is a call from God to protect and defend the weak and fatherless, to rescue the weak and needy and deliver them from the hand of the wicked (Psalm 82:3-4).

     The designated enforcer certainly isn't the only one who sticks up for his teammates in hockey - it's very much a part of the culture to look out for your team - this is something that runs deep in hockey players, especially when someone gets close to their goalie! If only we had such a strong indignation from the church when someone on our team was 'cheap shotted'. Hockey players are constantly on the look out for these hits to defend against them - and it's not because they happen more in hockey than in life! We too should be on the look out for our brothers and sisters who are getting hit - unfortunately I think many in the church are more likely to avoid looking around and not get involved in the scrum. Who are the weak, the fatherless, and the needy - or the ones under attack? I don't think you need to go very far to find them. Go to church on Sunday - they will be there. They are in the locker rooms, in schools, work places, etc. Or you can search them out – join a prison mentorship program, work with an inner city ministry, or volunteer with a food distribution center.

     We see a hockey player rush to his teammates defense and we respect him for that - to put themselves in harms way so their teammate will not be. Jesus is the ultimate example of this as He laid down His very life so we could gain ours, He took the lashes that were due to us. This is a true enforcer! For one to lay down their life, to put themselves into the tough circumstance to protect another from it. We are called to this as well, and when we understand how Jesus Himself did this for us, we will be motivated to do the same for others - by giving up our time to visit widows and orphans in their distress (James 1:27) - or have a lonely divorcee over for dinner - or using our strength by defending those who are weak and fatherless (Psalm 82:3) - or by giving finances or material goods when we see a brother in need (1 John 3:16-17). If we respect hockey players defending a teammate - how much more would the world see the glory of Jesus Christ if they saw the church rise up to protect the weak and needy by laying down their lives! Surely then, 'your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday.' (Isaiah 58:10)

What strengths do you have that you could use to be an enforcer on someone else's behalf?
Do you know someone in your life that needs an enforcer to help them?

For additional reading see 1 Timothy 5:8, Matthew 25:32-46, Isaiah 1:17, Galatians 6:2

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