At the dedication of the rebuilt wall, the people demonstrated an overflow of thankful hearts in their worship. In the Old Testament times, the Temple was where the people thought God came from the spiritual realm to inhabit a physical structure. They derived this picture during the Exodus when God led them by a cloud by day and a column of fire by night. Ezra, the spiritual leader of the nation, and Nehemiah, the wall-builder, led choirs to meet at the Temple. This was a visual demonstration of the intersection of the spiritual with the physical.
From Disgrace to a Thankful Heart
God had empowered Nehemiah and the people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This was a physical demonstration of rebuilding unfinished hope for the people. When the Hebrew people first entered the promised land, they had hope for the Messiah to come. But as years went by, people began to drift spiritually. God sent prophets to try to draw them back to Himself, but they resisted. Finally, God gave the people a time-out by sending them into exile.
In exile, this hope was put on hold. The rebuilding of the Temple sent a few sparks of hope out, but the wall was still down. Nehemiah’s brother had told him at the beginning of our story. Nehemiah 1:3Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The unfinished hope had left them disgraced.
But now the Temple had been rebuilt and the wall was there to protect the city. Hope of a coming Messiah had returned.
Overflowing Support for God’s Work
The overflow of gratitude for what God had done resulted in the people supporting the work and workers of the Temple. Nehemiah 12: 44 On that day men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the offerings, the first part of the harvest, and the tithes. They were responsible to collect from the fields outside the towns the portions required by the Law for the priests and Levites. For all the people of Judah took joy in the priests and Levites and their work. 
The dedication of the wall began an abundant supply of produce to sustain the Temple. The people gave not because they had to but because they wanted to. Centuries later Paul also explained this kind of giving. 2 Corinthians 5:7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully,”
Missionary leader J. Hudson Taylor used to say, “When God’s work is done in God’s way for God’s glory, it will not lack God’s support.”
To hear more about the overflow of thankful hearts, listen here: