Summary: How proper fearing of God (instead of forgetting him) can lead to a unified community. Nehemiahs revival met with internal obstacles as well as the external one
Unity from Fear
How to Create a Unified Community Through God-Fearing.
(the main body is a bit sparse. But i hope with the opening thoughts and basic outline that this will help those working through Nehemiah. Unfortunately the main body was hand written and never got entered.)
Cornell Lewis activist
What Bristol needs is a Cornell Lewis.
That’s right, a bullhorn-wielding community activist who’s not afraid to make a little noise, annoy the folks in charge - and sometimes anyone else in earshot - in the name of community empowerment.
I know ... I never thought I’d ever hear myself say that, either. (Helen Urbinas, Hartford courant)
The Rev. Lewis told DRCNet his campaign to take back the streets was gathering steam after a rocky beginning. "We had a campout two weeks ago and that stirred up resistance from the drug dealers," he said. "One lady came out and ranted and raved at us for 45 minutes. Then the drug dealers sent a messenger saying they understood what we were doing, but they didn’t like it because it disrupted their business. We sent them a message back saying we didn’t appreciate their bringing a climate of violence to the community," Lewis said. "Later a man came down and rapped a song at us about how he had a gat and an extra clip and was looking for someone to shoot. We asked him to leave," said Lewis. But things got better, he said.
"Last weekend, people in the neighborhood came out and greeted us, they brought us food and drink," Lewis continued. "It was a better reception. We had sent flyers into the neighborhood telling where the drug houses were, and now the traffic is minimal," he told DRCNet.
The Rev. Lewis, of course, begs to differ. "These criminal elements are destroying our neighborhoods and they need to be dealt with now," he said. Adding that some are "operating on a worldview based on materialism and hedonism, heedless of God’s law and man’s law," Lewis said the dealers were un-amenable to gentle persuasion.
"That’s where our methods come into play. No drug dealer will stay in business if he can’t make money, so we try to make it impossible for them to operate," he said. "We’ve had some success in some neighborhoods," he added. "I tell you what, come up with something better, then I’ll listen, in the meantime we’ll do what we think is necessary." (http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/236/hartford.shtml)
A food shortage has led to hardship of (especially) poorer people, and the well off are charging them interest, something not allowed in the OT law.
Nehemiah confronts the culprits, chastises them, and calls them into congruence with the law (exhibiting “fear of the Lord). Nehemiah reveals his (?) efforts to buy back the people in slavery over this. They agree to pay back everything, the oppression stops, and the people breath relief and praise God.
Nehemiah recounts how because of the fear of the Lord, he governed with a gentle hand, not demanding what could have been his, and always sharing what he had. His desire is for the Lord to remember how he treated people.