God’s Delight & Bonhoeffer

God's delight Psalm 44_1_8

… ‘Pilate said to them, “you have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can. So they made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard’ (Mt.27:65-66)

Reading through some material this morning I was stopped by something Bonhoeffer had written.

In sum, he is discussing life as proclamation of the gospel. The Lenten reflection caused me to think about how fasting can be a sign of proclamation. I.e.: We don’t fast to gain something, we fast in order to give something from the heart, mind and soul, whether symbolically done or not, in response to that which is already given.

From a brief exegetical look at , despite the contrasts, it is possible to see this ‘something already given and our response to it’ as God’s delight and our hearing of the deeds which flow from His delight.

It is possible then to say that God’s delight in us saves us. That is according to the Psalmist and Jesus in John 15:5 God: plants us and prunes us. He fights for us and wrestles with us in order to set us free; as much from ourselves as from those who stand as enemies in hostile opposition against us. Here there is a possible connection to Jacob wrestling with God in Genesis 32. This appears in the Psalmists confession ‘You are my King, O God; ordain salvation for Jacob!’ (Ps.44:4).

In His delight for us, it is only God, who in Jesus the Christ ‘ordains salvation’[i].

The Psalmist reminds us that this is achieved by ‘His right hand, arm the light of His face and His delight’(Ps.44:3).

‘It hurts body and soul that no day passes without the name of God being doubted and blasphemed.

“Where then is your God?”

I confess God before the world and before all enemies of God when in deepest need I believe in God’s goodness, when in guilt I believe in forgiveness, when in death I believe in life, when in defeat I believe in victory, when in desolation I believe in God’s gracious presence.

Those who have found God in the cross of Jesus Christ know how wonderfully God hides himself in this world and how he is closest when we believe him to be most distant.’[ii]


[i] Psalm 44:4
[ii] Bonhoeffer, D. Why Have You Forgotten Me? In God is on the Cross Westminster John Knox Press 2012, p.62

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