Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: The Life of David — Sermon #15: David Prepares His People

Sermon preached on September 20, 2009, in the Ethical Culture Society Location, at the 9:00 AM service.

Teaching is based on 1 Chronicles 29:1-20.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Introduction: There is lots of material on David: 2 biographies (1 written by Samuel, 1 written by the Chronicler), making him one of the most written-about ancient figures of all time.


1. The Problem

2. The Presence

3. The Practice

4. The Promise

I. The Problem

  1. Under David, Israel had never flourished so much; he’s dying now; he brings out their fears right away: Solomon is young and inexperienced.
  2. No one has ever sought God on their own; there’s always someone who acts as a bridge.
    1. David is addressing this: What happens when that bridge person dies? Moves away?
    2. Robert McCheyne gets at this in his sermon, “What Have I to do with Idols?”
      1. Warning: Don’t put your minister above God!

II. The Presence

  1. David is saying, “I want you to stop getting God through me, and instead I want you to bring God’s presence into your midst.”
  2. Ch. 28: David doesn’t want to build a monument to himself, but a resting place for the ark of the covenant.
    1. The ark is a major theme in David’s life
    2. Someone touched it, and they died
    3. It was taken into battle at Jericho, and the walls fell
    4. Philistine battle during Eli’s time: Israelites lost the ark; it plagued Philistine villages;
  3. The point is that God is not a God you can put in a box; He’s not a God you can have at hand; He’s not a God you can conjure; He’s not a tame God.
    1. We try rubbing the lamp with good deeds and tithing and being an obedient son
  4. God doesn’t want to be put in a box and taken into battle.

III. The Practice

  1. If the presence isn’t controllable, what can we do?
  2. We can’t control him, but we can invite him
  3. If you try to control God, he departs
  4. If you come with conditions, he departs
    1. If you say, “I’ll be happy to pray if you can get me a good job, etc.”
    2. The If is your real God; He is only your commodity, your money.
  5. If you have conditions, you’re treating Him mechanically, not personally.
    1. Love Him Himself, not as an object
    2. I want to marry you. Why? Because when I think about your trust  fund I get excited.
      1. You would leave if someone did that to you, and He will too.
  6. Say: I don’t care if my life goes the way I want it to.
  7. The only way Solomon will hav ethe presence is wholehearted devotion, complete consecration
  8. William Borden: He took a trip around the world, and wrote “No reserves” in the back of his Bible; then, after Yale, he wrote, “No retreat”; finally, before his death, he wrote, “No regrets.” Borden of Yale
    1. He had no idea his life would impact anyone. He just did his job, no conditions–and that’s why glory fell on him.
  9. Kierkegaard: Purity of heart is to will one thing.
    1. The problem is, no one can give God that!
    2. Ezekiel 8 and 9 describes the presence leaving the temple forever

IV. The Promise

  1. “You will have a son,” God told David, “and his kingdom will last forever.
    1. This wasn’t Solomon; it was Christ.
    2. David wanted to build the temple; Jesus said, “I am the temple.”
  2. Jesus is the only man who ever gave God wholehearted devotion, unconditional consecration
  3. Jesus earned the presence of God, yet He got the absence!
    1. Jesus’ blood was spread on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant
    2. Jesus was the ultimate David, who didn’t just give us this temple at the cost of his money, but at the cost of his life


  1. If you want to give yourself unconditionally, look at your money
    1. It’s possible to give money while withholding yourself, but it’s not possible to give yourself while withholding money.
  2. Creativity: Revivals have 2 things: extraordinary prayer and communicating the gospel
    1. You can’t get into Narnia the same way twice; God doesn’t want us to think that Narnia is the wardrobe
  3. The possibilities of experiencing God’s glory are immense; if you’re not aiming for that, you’re settling for two little
    1. Repent
  4. Take your hands off your life; give yourself unconditionally

(Notice: the notes below may be partially mine–I can’t tell from my notes)

  1. God, even if you don’t have a calling for my life, even if you never tell me what to do, I love you. The one thing I’ve wanted more than You is a clear calling–forget that. Forget it. I won’t conjure you.
  2. Kill me, if that’s what You want. Renew my heart to “be faithful unto death.” And if you won’t, fine–I’m bound to You. There’s no turning back.

About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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