One of the common images in Scripture is that of metal being purified. In a similar way, God purifies people to get rid of things in us that aren't pleasing to Him. In these passages from Ezekiel, God was purifying the nation of Israel. The nation had become quite corrupt, and God wanted to cleanse it from its impurities. God wasn't planning on redeeming all of Israel. In 20:38, God states, "I will purge out the rebels from among you…" Some people would say that isn't exactly the language of a "loving God," which is one argument for a lack of God's existence (i.e. How could a loving God send people to hell?). The truth is that just as much as God is love He is also wrath, and these two attributes of His character do not conflict with each other. His wrath is appeased through sacrifice (hence the reason Christ had to die). National righteousness does not make up for personal sin, and each person, whether Jew or gentile, will face God's judgment. Just as a child is not covered by his or her parents' relationship with God, neither was an individual in this nation covered by God's redemption of His people. The nation had moved so far from what God wanted it to be that He needed to cleanse it and purify it through these trials. God still uses trials in our lives today to purify us. The real question is whether or not you're paying attention to your trials to see what kind of a work God might be doing in you.