Summary: David sensed his value and purpose because he realized he was not an "accident". He was a man created in the image of God.
OPEN: In Robert Wise’s book “Your Churning Place” he tells a story about Burt Lancaster - a famous movie Star who made almost 100 movies between 1939 and 1989. But before he began working in the movies Burt Lancaster was a circus performer - a job he was fortunate to land, considering his less than flawless audition. He was asked to perform on the parallel bars, so he leaped on the bars and began his routine. Because he was nervous, his timing was off, and he spun over the bar falling flat on his face some 10 feet below. He was so humiliated that he immediately leaped back on the bar. As he spun again in the same point, he flipped off and smashed to the ground once more. His tights were torn. He was cut and bleeding, and he was fiercely upset. He leaped back on the bars again, but the 3rd time was even worse because this time he fell on his back.
The agent came over, picked him up, and said "Son, if you promise not to do that again, you’ve got the job!"
APPLY: Burt Lancaster was frustrated.
He just knew he could do the job, but every time he tried he failed.
A lesser man would have given up. But Lancaster was so convinced of his own abilities that he kept at it even when he fell down repeatedly.
Many of the great men and women of the past have approached life in this same fashion.
Henry Ford was broke at age 40, and yet he created the first automobile empire.
Albert Einstein flunked in math and yet he devised some of the most powerful math equations.
One of Great Britain’s greatest admirals – Horatio Nelson – suffered from seasickness.
Helen Keller could not hear nor see - graduated with honors from a famous college.
Abraham Lincoln was well known throughout his life for his failures in business and life and yet he is remembered as one of the greatest presidents of our nation.
These people overcame difficulties because they were convinced they had purpose and value - a purpose and value that their handicaps could not damage or undermine. Abraham Lincoln explained the reason he was driven to accomplish so much in his life:
"Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day. No, no, man was made for immortality."
In Psalm 139, David has arrived at the same conclusion. He’s come to believe that he has been created by God. That he has been fearfully and wondrously made. He realizes that God had “knit him together”.
I can visualize David sitting on a hillside watching his father’s sheep and having nothing to do but think. And something he sees and hears of feels has turned his thoughts to God.
Maybe he looked at his hands.
ILLUS: Dr. Scott Karrison noted hands are one of "…the most intricate and beautiful parts of the human body. Nineteen bones arranged to form a cup, an arch, a flat surface or a balled fist, each shape occurring on demand. Fingers able delicately to lift a needle from a table or twist open the stubborn cap of a fruit jar or distinguish between a penny and a dime merely by touch. No engineer designing robot hands has ever come close to such perfection." Guideposts Dec. 1993, p. 41-42
Or perhaps David listened to a bird in a tree and wondered at the marvel of hearing
ILLUS: Whittaker Chambers wrote a book where he told of sitting with his little two-year old daughter on his lap - and he just started looking intently at her ear. He was struck by the design of that ear. How beautiful, how shell-like it was, and how perfectly designed to catch every sound wave in the air to be translated into sound by the brain. Knowing something of the mechanics of the ear he began to think about it. He was struck by how impossible it is that anything so intricate, so complex, so beautifully designed could ever occur by chance. That led him to other lines of thought and eventually he investigated the Christian position and became a Christian.
Or maybe David just thought how his breathing
Just think about your breathing for a minute. Breathe in…. (pause) Breathe out. What if you had to control that action every moment of your life? What if you had to remember to breathe in and out? How long do you think you could live? Not long, obviously. And yet God has designed our lungs to automatically do that action over and over again.
Whatever got David to thinking… it led him to realize how much he meant to God.