We tend to get distracted after small achievement by the false impression that we achieved the purpose. However, purpose is not a goal. It's a bigger word. The goals and the achievements serve the purpose.
Nehemiah and the Israelites finished the rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. It was a great achievement. Yet, it wasn't their purpose. Their purpose was to live as people of God. And the wall was supposed to serve the purpose. That's why Nehemiah didn't go back to Persia, after the construction ended.
For the purpose, Nehemiah appointed two rulers who fear the God and love the people in chapter 7.
And in chapter 8, the people of Israel gathered to listen to the Word of God. With the desire, many people gathered, spent 6 hours to listening, responded 'Amen,' and understood the Word. That's what happened. And we should have the same desire for the Word of God.
When they understood the Word, they wept for their sins. But Nehemiah and Ezra talked to them, 'not to weep, but enjoy the festival' based on the Word. And they listened to it. Obedience should prevail over the emotion.
While rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, Nehemiah encounters internal problem in the Jewish society which caused by the nobles and officials. They were not supposed to exact interest from poor brothers, but they took mortgages and interests and the poor Israelites were in danger of slavery. This was breaking their law in Leviticus 25:35-42. So Nehemiah asked them not only to fix the surface problem but also to change their hearts by saying, "Shouldn't you walk in the fear of our God?" What does it mean to walk in the fear of God?
We can find 4 things from chapter 5. 1, listening to the word of God(vv. 10-11). 2, giving up their own rights(v.14). 3, serving others when it is not obligated(v.16). 4, being content with only God's recognition(v.19). And Jesus Christ's life was a good example for this.
Then, how can we practically live in the fear of God, at work, school, and church? We should ponder and live out.
When enemies threat Nehemiah with mocking words (v.2-3), with terrorism (v.8), with the plan of assassination (6:2), with rumor (v.6-7), and with false prophesy (v.10-11), his reaction to that was two. First was prayer (4:4-5;9;6:9;14) and second was keep working (4:6;16-23;6:3;9;15).
As Christians, we should do this since we engage in a spiritual war in our lives. We should pray like Nehemiah did. His prayer was like a habit. So should be ours. Not only that we should keep moving. We need to learn and know the Word of God as a weapon to our battle. Prayer and the Word of God are the two things helping us to keep moving for the work of God.
Nehemiah chapter 3 describes the rebuilding work of the wall of Jerusalem in detail. When the people of Israel tried to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem under Nehemiah's leadership, they were able to finish it in 52 days. It was because they were different but all devoted.
Their leaders, the priests and the rulers, devoted first. They did not sit back but come forward to take part in. And it was the form of the true leader.
Also, people of Israel did not complain about what was assigned to them and about the people who do not participate. They were faithful to their work.
And when some people draw back and did not participate, and some people did not finish what they were supposed to do, those who finished their job worked hard and helped out. With all this together they were able to finish the work and build their strong community.
So we see leaders in front, and people who devoted themselves even beyond their abilities without compare and complaining.