When reading through the Prophets it would be somewhat easy to conclude that, since God's plan was to redeem Israel, that all of Israel would be redeemed. Unfortunately, the reading for today shows that this isn't really the case. 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 reality 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.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.