Nehemiah was a bold man. He confronted the “Nobles and Officials” for financially abusing the poor in times of famine. They used their resources to further their advantage over the poor, rather than to feed and assist the poor. Nehemiah called a national assembly and in the presence of everyone he specifically addressed the “rich” for abusing their privilege at the expense of the poor. Verses 8 & 9 of chapter five says, “They were silent and could not find a word to say. So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Ought you not to walk ?in the fear of our God…”
Whenever walking in “the fear of the Lord” was used, it referred to obeying God’s Word. Without God’s  word we have no message, mission, ministry, methods, ministries, or morals upon which to test our life choices. The absolute truth of God’s Word always confronts us regarding our life choices. It convinces, convicts, corrects, cleanses, and changes us if we “walk in the fear of the Lord.”

Although we see how Jesus always loved sinners, he always called sin, “sin.” When the adulterous woman was publicly exposed in her sin, Jesus shamed her accusers into dropping their stones and walking away. But his words to her were “Go and SIN no more.” He didn’t accept her lifestyle, he lovingly confronted her with the reality of SIN.

When we relate to those who do not walk “in the fear of the Lord”, we too must be careful about throwing stones, yet we also must be firm in not approving sinful behavior.  Love and Mercy is incomplete unless we do as Jesus and Nehemiah did. We must call it “sin.” In some respects we have winked, giggled, made alibis, or ignored sin all too long. A friend in deed is one who says quietly, but firmly, “?What you’re doing friend is sin. It is harmful to you and to others. It is destructive to God’s dream for you.”

“Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near…Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)