"Hear, O my people, and I will warn you - if you would but listen to me, O Israel!" (Psa. 81:8)
I think this is one of the more painful realities about who we are as human beings in relation to our Heavenly Father - we cause Him pain. I'm not thinking of the ways in which what we like to think of as "wicked" people causing God pain (murder, strong arm robbery, physical assault and battery, the "big stuff"), but the ways in which believers cause Him pain through gossip, jealousy, lies, prideful arrogance over others put into action, or even becoming so used to our own daily sins that they no longer cause us any pain, only annoyance when they are called out by someone else. Psalm 81 is a call to Gods complacent people to consider how their disobedience, grown comfortable and unrepented of, becomes a source of pain to God, which then ultimately becomes a source of pain to us. God shows the pain He feels at the rupture in the relationship we have with Him by saying three times, with slight variation, "if you would..." It's like a parent seeing a child heading towards emotional hurt, and knowing there's no way to get the kid to turn aside - they have to learn, by experience, that there is a better way. But until then, God watches as we blunder on until the consequences of our sin become so evident to everyone else that we then have to recognize it for what it is: sin that breaks down the communication between us. God could, if He chose, simply command that when we get saved, we would become perfectly obedient, a sort of "Stepford Wives" scenario on a grand scale. But He is "faithful and and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9)". So then the question is; do I want grow, or am I comfortable remaining unaware of the hurt being caused vertically and horizontally. Do I want to hear Him say, "well done, good and. Faithful servant...or "If my people would..." I face the choice again, hopefully this time with my eyes open to see something differently. What will I do with it? What will you do with yours?