3. Freedom and Sin
The Jewish people were in a privileged position, in being God's special people who he cared about. But at times they may have preferred that he didn't take such an interest, and instead be indifferent, to let them be free to do what they wanted to do. At times they would have preferred that God didn't care about them.
According to the popular wisdom of the modern world, care and freedom are linked:
- If God didn't care about us, we would call it freedom.
- If we didn't care about God, he would call it sin.
If God didn't care about us, it wouldn't matter whether we cheated on our taxes, or violated copyright: we'd call it freedom. But then, if we didn't care about God, we'd be ignoring him, and making ourselves the ruler over our lives. Sin is the act of ignoring God and doing what we want to do ourselves. It's following our own lusts and making ourselves our god, rather than caring about the true God.
James 1:14: But each one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 15. Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death. WEB
Paul, in the letter to the Romans, demonstrates how our belief of God's lack of care is tied up with our lack of care about Him,
Romans 6:20: For when you were servants of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. WEB
Between us and God, there's a symmetry in terms of care, but not an equivalence. We could each make choices about caring, but ultimately one is the creature, and one is the creator.
Eccl 5:1: Guard your steps when you go to God's house; ... 2 Don't be rash with your mouth, and don't let your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you on earth. Therefore let your words be few. WEB
We can break ourselves like the broken windows of the lives of the people around us, but to God, that would be called sin.