Sin is not simply the transgression of the law; it is the transgression of God's law. When we break God's rules, we break God's will and break from his favor. Isaiah reminds us:
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,One who looks long at the cross realizes that sin breaks God's will and his heart. God grieved at the continually evil heart found in the people of Noah's day (Genesis 6:5-7). God warns Christians not to grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) by unwholesome talk or by an unforgiving spirit. Jesus grieved in his spirit to see Jerusalem rejecting God's will and refusing to embrace him as Lord (Matthew 23:37-39). You can hear the heartache of the Lord:
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”Rules are not some optional imperative, when they come from God. They are not suggestions. They are founded in God's own holy character. They are part of Him, and we cannot relate to Him without recognizing them.
These “rules” go to the very heart of our relationship with God. One must not confuse them with a legalistic “laundry list” proposed by power-hungry, religious zealots (Col. 2:20-23). God's rules are eternally moral and righteous; they are for our good (Deuteronomy 6:24; 10:13). They bring health of spirit and body. Those who keep them sow to life, while those who ignore them sow to corruption (Galatians 6:7-8).