From Yew to You


Rev. Wally Yew


God's Second Chance

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."[1]

I have known this verse for years and heard it quoted again and again, but I never really knew its context until recently. The background of this verse makes this promise even more meaningful. I am so excited that I can hardly wait to share it with you.

This promise was given to Solomon by Jehovah after Solomon had dedicated the temple which was accepted by God.

The temple is a symbol of the presence of God. It is a house of prayer, a place where people come to worship Him. It is the center around which people's lives revolve. It is the most important concrete structure that reminds people of God and points them to God.

The fact that the builder and the site of the temple were both intimately related to the sins of David took me by surprise.

Yes, it was Solomon, the product of an adulterous relationship between David and Bathsheba, wife of Uriah, who built the temple on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.[2]

God allowed the son of an adulterous relationship to build the temple!

When the prophet Nathan confronted David with his sins, David immediately confessed, "I have sinned against the Lord."[3] David was not a perfect man. He had his weaknesses. But he was "man" enough to confess his sins. He did not blame other people or other things for his sins. He was prompt and sincere in his confession.

When David confessed the sins he had committed against Uriah and with Bathsheba, God forgave him. God does not keep records of past sins. He gives people a second chance. He even allowed David's son to assume the important task of building the temple.

Now that we know the builder had such an infamous background, what about the land? The land was purchased by David in the context of another major sin.

The Bible records David's two major sins in his life. The first one is his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. The other is when he ordered a census of his fighting men to show how great a king he was.[4]

After the census was completed, David was conscience-stricken and he repented to God.[5] The Lord asked David through the prophet Gad to offer Him sacrifices at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite as an atonement. In obedience David bought the land from Araunah and offered sacrifices there.

The builder and also the site of the temple were associated with David's two major sins. These were serious sins with serious consequences. Both resulted in the loss of human lives, including the lives of David's own sons.

But when God forgives, He forgives. When David was sincere in his repentance, God took him seriously. God allowed Solomon to be the builder and allowed the land that used to be owned by Araunah, to be the site of the temple. God is not ashamed to have His presence associated with the sins of David. He does not remember debts that are forgiven.

In our personal life and our church life, we are bound to make mistakes. We are bound to sin against God and against man. This is evident and inevitable.

It is up to each and every one of us to learn to genuinely confess our sins, to ask for forgiveness and to continue to serve the Lord.

It is also up to us to learn to forgive others of their mistakes and to give them a second chance.

May the building of God's temple teach us how to forgive others and how to give people a second chance.

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."


  • [1] 2 Chronicles 7:14
  • [2] 2 Chronicles 3:1
  • [3] 2 Samuel 12:13
  • [4] 2 Samuel 24:1
  • [5] 2 Samuel 24:10
Signature of Rev. Yew.
(Article Link:
Reuse online please credit to Challenger, February 1998. CCMUSA.)