Scott Sauls Sermon Notes — Series: The Life of David 2009 — Sermon #13: David and Absalom

Sermon preached on September 6, 2009.

The teaching is based on Psalm 63.

Scott Sauls preached this message. Rev. Sauls is a Lead Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City; his preaching style is very similar to that of his Senior Pastor, Tim Keller.

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.


Psalm 63 shows us David at a time when his exterior life is in shambles and his interior life has never been better. What are the signs of spiritual health that we see here in David?

Outline: Signs of Spiritual Health

I. A Thirsty Soul

II. A Clinging Soul

III. A Joyful Soul

IV. A Tender Soul

I. A thirsty soul: an insatiable appetite for the things of God

  • Children are a better teacher for you than the best preacher in the world about what it is to be in the Kingdom
    • Kids cry out for nourishment; they demand it
    • Paul said crave the milk of the Word; Ezekiel even said the harsh words felt sweet; Jesus said His nourishment was to do God’s will
  • How do you respond when a worship service goes over or Bible study runs long?

II. A clinging soul (same word as cleaving in Genesis 2)

  • I’d rather die than live without your life, because your life is better than life.
  • David is saying, “If I lost my connection to God, I would die inside, I would lose the will to live.”
  • Everyone leans on a crutch that they use to move on out into the world with confidence
    • There are a million ways to self-medicate
  • David’s crutch for a season was the arms of women; God knew that the only way to knock that crutch out from under David was turning his son against him
    • The things we interpret as God’s judgment on us or the worst things that could ever happen to us could actually be the best things, because they will make us more God dependent.

III. A joyful heart

  • Rev. Sauls used to think reverent meant serious and grumpy
  • Luke 15 — the elder son has been good, reverent; the father says, “Come in and sing and dance and drink. This singing and dancing and welcoming in is a picture of the Kingdom: JOY.
  • How do you tell if you have real joy? It flourishes in hard times.
  • Think and and enumerate the glories of your beloved–it’s a discipline sometimes, something you start even if you don’t feel like it.
  • “the humblest, most well-balanced minds praise most” -C. S. Lewis
  • Praise: seeing what is truly valuable and treating it for the treasure that it is

IV. A tender soul

  • If you don’t want things set right, you’re not emotionally healthy
    • If your God is not just, He is an enabling co-dependent.
  • David, upon Absalom’s death: “Would that I have died instead of you.”
  • David, the recipient of this unchanging covenant love, was once a home-wrecker and a murderer.
    • God delights in forgiving even the most heinous sins to show us the roots, the jaded, twisted, misshapen parts of us, the leprosy
  • Personal Example: Rev. Sauls once came to his car in NYC and found that the window had been bashed out. He then had two options:
    • 1) Resent the city
    • 2) Love the city: this means that I must remember my own history; as I pay for someone else’s sins (by paying to get my car fixed), I must remember with joy that I don’t have to pay for my sins


Jesus was the true king who went to the desert (as David went to the desert to flee from Absalom). He went willingly, because He clung to your heart. The thought of saving you was worth death to him.


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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