“But I still don’t understand why Missy had to die.”
“She didn’t have to, Mackenzie. This was no plan of Papa’s. Papa has never needed evil to accomplish his good purposes. It is you humans who have embraced evil and Papa has responded with goodness. What happened to Missy was the work of evil and no one in your world is immune from it.”
You might be thinking that all that stuff about the Babylonians being prepared by God to wreak His vengeance on Judah as His sword is all just a bunch of Old Testament God meanness that doesn’t really apply in this modern church age of grace and mercy.
You are correct that God is exhibiting extreme patience with humanity right now in order to maximize the number of people who will accept His call to salvation. The problem is that we presume upon this patience and we begin to get a false picture of who God is and how seriously He takes His own holiness and glory. We begin to act as if we are the centerpieces of the universe when, in fact, He is.
Two quick examples from Jesus himself to show you that God in Ezekiel is very much exemplified in Jesus and the current time.
The first is John 9. A man blind from birth is encountered by Jesus and his disciples:
1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
do you see that? a man was born blind and lived his entire life as an outcast blind beggar. Is that a bad thing? Just happenstance? the result of sin? NO. This man and his parents had to endure a life of blindness in himself and their son so that “the works of God might be displayed in him.”
Does that make you mad? or does that make you celebrate with this born blind man that he was considered to be worthy of such an honor?
your answer to this question will tell you a lot about your feelings toward God.
1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.“
and of course you all remember John the Baptist’s message about Jesus, don’t you?
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
the message is clear. God still requires repentance. The kingdom of heaven that Jesus came to initiate is one based upon repentance. Failure to repent in the new covenant still leads to certain destruction at the hand of God’s “winnowing fork”
conclusion to come.