Summary: A sermon on the belief that there is nothing beyond a person's individual life. Then we discuss how David dealt with the nothingness and how this brought him to belief in God. Then we see how this influenced his life especially in regards to Goliath
As Vice President, George Bush Sr. represented the U.S. at the funeral of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. Bush noticed a silent protest carried out by Brezhnev’s widow. She stood motionless by the coffin until seconds before it was closed. Just as the soldiers touched the lid, Brezhnev’s wife performed an act of courage, hope, and civil disobedience: She reached down and made the sign of the cross on her husband’s chest. There in that citadel of secular, atheistic power, the wife of the man who had run it all hoped that her husband was wrong. She hoped that there was another life.
I remember it well. I was raised in the church but when I got to be a teenager I became cynical about faith in God. We moved to Indianapolis from the country and I had a lot of time to myself. I hated the way my life had turned out. I was away from my friends and away from the life that I had known. I hated this new place. I was usually not tired come bedtime. I would lay on the bed miserable, sleep refusing to come. Sometimes my thoughts would drift to a reoccurring nightmare. I would dream that there was no land, no baseball, no basketball, no trips back to the country, no family, no friends, no work, no people, no earth and it would go on forever and ever. An empty universe. I lay in my bed as a 13 year old wondering deeply about what it would be like if I were alone in a universe where nothing else existed. For eternity. My mind needed relief. I was engulfed in fear, and my sense of safety felt overwhelmed. What would it be like if nothing existed, forever and ever? Or worse yet, if I were alone by myself in an empty universe for eternity? As I walked along the edge of nothingness, along with it came the thought: Someday I will die. Where will I go? Who will I be with?
Let’s be honest with ourselves: Do we genuinely believe God exists? If we do, do we believe that he understands us and is there for us in the troubles and trials of our lives? Or is God dead?
In our day it is popular to be a skeptic. To come to the abyss of nothingness and believe that each individual is all there is. In his book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that belief in a personal god qualifies as a delusion. Dawkins believes that, "when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion." He has come to the nothingness and concluded that is all there is.
He stands on the backs of others like Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Freud traces it all back to our birth. When we are born we are dependent upon our mothers. Soon this function is replaced by the father, who retains that position for the rest of childhood. When an individual transitions into adulthood, the father figure is replaced by many with the idea of God. According to Freud, the struggles of life and the lack of strong, loving father figures inspired the construction of an imaginary Father-God. This Father-God provides for all the psychological needs of the deluded. According to Freud we need to grow up and mature by abandoning this idea of God because God does not exist. We are alone in the universe.
Here is the kicker though: Everyone goes through this. Many experts agree that those childhood fears of being alone in a universe of nothingness, left with nobody to care for or love them, are innate, inborn, given to us when we are conceived.
Attachment theory is a psychological model that attempts to describe the dynamics of long-term and short-term interpersonal relationships between humans. The evolutionary theory of attachment (John Bowlby) suggests that children come into the world biologically preprogrammed to form attachments with others, because this will help them to survive. In that regard, many study primates (monkeys) and see that they also are preprogrammed to form attachments because this is advantageous for each monkey. However, how does evolution preprogram us to form attachments? Christians are now using this to say that evolution does not preprogram us to form attachments, but our creator God has made us this way not just to survive but also to find Him. “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26, 27, NIV. See, God put these attachment desires within us to not only connect with others but also to connect with God himself.