David Bisgrove Sermon Notes — Series: The Life of David 2009 — Sermon #14: David Fails the Lord

Sermon preached on September 13, 2009.

The teaching is based on 2 Samuel 24:10-25.

David Bisgrove preached this message. Rev. Bisgrove is one of four 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 theRedeemer Sermon Store.


With any biblical text, you have to look not only at the story, but the story beneath the story. Otherwise:

1) We’re crushed–none of us will live up to a man whose poetry is sung 2,000 years later.

2) We’re confused–how can a man of God sin like this?

The last chapters of 2 Samuel have “intentional summation.” They are put here at the end to highlight major themes in David’s life:

I. Negatively, spiritual presumption

II. Positively, spiritual discernment

I. Spiritual presumption is at the heart of every sin

  • We forget this simple truth: there is a God and I’m not Him
    • This is the rhythm of the Old Testament: I will be your God and you will be my people
  • We presume that we know better than God, that we know what’s best for us.
  • Spiritual presumption comes from a perfect storm:
    1. Foolish: All sin comes from ignoring the wisdom gap between God and us
    2. Evil
    3. Personal

1. Foolish:

    • Wise people, even if they don’t understand it, embrace God’s law
    • the Bible is a blueprint for ultimate reality
    • the rules aren’t there to restrict us, but to liberate us and help us to live in fallen humanity. We follow them because we want more, not less.
      • For example,holding my daughter’s hand when crossing the street, I don’t do this to restrict her, I do this to keep her alive
    • sometimes you need to disparage yourself enough to ignore that God feels like a killjoy
      • For example, I had a high school teacher who offended me by saying that students can’t grow up and do whatever they want–it’s the only thing I remember from high school

2. Evil; perverted

  • using everything God has given us for our own ends
  • God’s plan for everything is repeated by the prophets: shalom
  • David was seeking to create a standing army instead of a militia; God isn’t having it, he won’t let them become the kind of people who look like the rest of the world, exploiting the weak
    • how do you find life? Give it away. You love and embrace aliens and strangers, you don’t enslave them
    • God so loves the world… “If God were not angry at how we were destroying ourselves, He wouldn’t be loving.”

3. Personal

  • We’re not just breaking God’s laws, we’re breaking His heart. He says, Love me because you trust me, obey me because you love me.
  • Sin is always characterized by adultery; it is barest betrayal
  • Money: We put money away because we want a “standing” cushion, just like David wanted a standing army
  • Power: You’ve got to make it up the ladder–the Bible says look down the ladder, and use what I’ve given you to help those below you
  • Do you really want to find your life? Give it away.
  • We’re getting in bed with the world right in front of God.

II. Spiritual Discernment: David has really grown

  • the more mature you are in God, the more you will repent
  • a spiritually mature person can’t imagine life w/o repentance
  • repentance breaks the ice off our birdbaths
  • ultimately the things we build our lives on leave us anxious, wondering if it’s enough
  • Proverbs 33: No king is saved by the size of his army
  • David models the gospel: He is the shepherd who abused his power, but now he’s going to lay his life down for the flock
    • God says, “No, I’ll take a substitute”
    • until finally, God takes out His full wrath and anger on the perfect substitute

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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