—A core teaching of the Bible that is often missed, and that is deeply encouraging
Andrew Fountain – Sept 9, 2018
To present a core teaching of the Bible that is often missed, and that is deeply encouraging.
Introduction: What it means to be human
God designed us like this and meets this need
Why this is so encouraging
The failure of pop-psychology
Numerous pop-psychology books tell us that separation, self-sufficiency, and independence are the hallmarks of maturity and the prerequisites to true intimacy. Many of us have already taken the road that beckons toward independence, but found instead that it can lead to isolation. When this happens, we assume that we are at fault - we have not learned how to be fully independent…
The solution many psychology books and psychotherapists offer to combat loneliness and isolation is to be strong enough to stand alone. “Don’t depend on others to love and afﬁrm you. Know what you want. Find it within yourself. Be your own best friend. Heal yourself. Only then will you be mature and ready for love.” Marion Solomon, Lean on Me
In the last 50 years, careful observation of close relationships, particularly between parents and children, has let to the conclusion that a specific kind of “attachment” is at the core of what it means to be human.
Humans were never intended to be independent entities, but have healthy dependencies
Part of the grand story of the Bible is that God wants to develop that depth of connection
God desires attachment with humans
In the Bible, front and centre, is God’s presentation of himself as someone to whom we can be securely attached
He is a safe and secure attachment figure
Abraham: Gen 12 & Heb 11
Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go out from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household to the land that I will show you.
Then I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you,
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place he would later receive as an inheritance, and he went out without understanding where he was going.
Covenant—the ultimate promise of security (Genesis 15
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield...
God made a covenant with Abraham
Key ideas in attachment
Face to face
Other that is “stronger and wiser”
Know that you will never be abandoned
Being seen and known
Break and repair
Moses (Go with us!) Exodus 33
Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend…
And Moses said to the LORD, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here.
And the LORD said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favour in my sight, and I know you by name.”
God speaking attachment language
Joshua: As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not abandon you or forsake you. [Joshua 1:5]
Isaiah: But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. [Isaiah 49:14–15]
David: Psalm 27
5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock…
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in.
The New Testament
“I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you.” [John 14:18]
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. [Hebrews 4:15]
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:38–39]
Why this is so encouraging
God understands this very core part of our humanity, and far from turning his back on it, he embraces it.
Partly this is because he has made us in this way, and partly he himself is like this!
God is unique among the gods
Things that can go wrong
I am stressed about whether God cares and if I can trust him
I don’t need anyone – it is safer if I only depend on myself