Sunday, February 21, 2016

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reflection Continued

"Abraham must learn that the promise does not depend on Isaac, but on God alone." 

That is simple but profound for me.  We confuse the three:  the character of God, the promise, and the benefit of the promise.  "God shows him a better sacrifice [than Isaac], which will take the place of Isaac . . . henceforth he will have his son in quite a new way, through the Mediator and for the Mediator's sake" (p. 99).  But no one else knew this, as Bonhoeffer concludes.

What is the promise of God to us, to me, upheld by the character of God, and what are the outcomes?  Good question.  We assume promises (health and wealth) that are not there, and overlook those that are.  God's presence, eternal life, and movement toward likeness of Christ, and the outcomes are deep personal satisfaction.  We confuse our middle class lifestyle with the promises of God.

I have been teaching about prayer, but I think we should pray as the Bible teaches and for what the Bible teaches.  Beyond that, I don't think we have much freedom. 

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