As Ezra read from the scriptures, the people were touched and all ended up in tears. Tears of sadness for the sins of their forefathers, and tears of joy because they were in their homeland where they belonged, and tears too because at last they understood what God had said.
Everyone was now settled, the walls completed, the city secure, and it was time to really find out more about the rules God had laid down for them. They had lived more than 60 years in exile caused by disobedience, and this generation did not want that to happen again.
Can you imagine the excitement of those people going home? Most of them to a place they had only heard about through their parents and grandparents, and the songs they had sung in the temple. There would be such joy in the Lord as they returned to this sacred city.
Chapter 7 tells us that everything was completed; the doors and gates as well as the whole city wall. Those workers must have praised the Lord about that. Nehemiah then appointed the gatekeepers to keep the city safe, and the musicians and the Levites to praise God for this victory.
How did Nehemiah know? Was it just intuition? Nehemiah must have been sad to find people from his own camp in the pay of the enemy, but recognising immediately the problem he refused the fear. He had not come so far to not see this job through to its end.
If people were afraid they would tire quickly and not finish the work. The things of the mind have powerful effect on our bodies. More than we understand. Much of the medical world today recognises that disputes, anxiety and other nervous mental activities can have serious effect on our bodies.
Nehemiah must have been feeling satisfied with all that the builders had accomplished. The wall was finished. There remained only the doors to be put in place. But the enemy was feeling that he must attack because he really did not want all entries to the city to be blocked.
This was another example of Nehemiah to the rescue. He really was the man of God for the work. He sorted the problem well because he was working under the authority of God. How different our world would be if our leaders worked willingly under the authority of Almighty God.
The enemy had tried to stop the building work and he was not succeeding, so he tried a different approach. Even today he still works in the same way, and there are always people who will play his game and try to make money out of the misfortune of others.
When we work with others as a team, it is much easier to keep going, no matter how difficult the circumstances. And when the leaders do exactly what they are asking the others to do, that too is an encouragement and leads to better team work.