Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare. (Jeremiah 29:7 NASB)
God sent most of the Israelites into exile for awhile, essentially because they were getting ornery and needed some discipline. They didn’t want to be in Babylon, but God sent a message to them through Jeremiah to encourage them to make the most of their time there, as opposed to just moping around or waiting for a rescue. Yes, he was going to rescue them and bring them back, but for now they needed to “build houses,” “plant gardens,” and “take wives” (Jeremiah 29:5-6). Then in seventy years (v. 10) the time would be completed and he would bring them back (leading into v. 11, the most popular all-time verse of evangelical Christianity).