At a certain point in the nation of Judah, the Lord intervenes and sends an instrument of punishment in the form of the vast Babylonian army under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar to surround, besiege and eventually conquer the city of Jerusalem, he would also initially take the cream of the crop with him to be trained and incoroporated into his civil service.
This ws very much a low point in the lives of God's people, this strange providence that God allows, God in His infinate ways is sometimes very difficult for us to understand. Yes God was punishing His people as he said he would if the departed from worshipping Him in the way he had prescribed for them.
His punishment was however not a permanant punishement, they would remain in captivity for 70 years as a nation, but would under Cyrus the Kong of the Medes and the Persians. Be allowed to return and resettle their homeland. God's punishment of His children always has a restorative purpose to it, and that is focussed in the word reconciliation. God is a God who reconciles us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the death and resurecction of Jesus resulted in reconciliation being offered to spiritual outlaws, we deserve condemnation and eternal punishement, but God in Christ gives us eternalreconciliation.
f you want to discover the purpose for your life on earth, the reason you exist? Then be reconciled to our great and merciful Lord and God!