God's rationale for bringing Israel into judgment was their sinful moral diminishment. Their capacity to make right choices was handicapped by their lack of discernment. Without the Law to guide their thinking they were clueless. And they had become as useless as dead trees, limbs fallen to the ground only to be picked up by old ladies who used the dead wood for kindling.
God had given them His Word as a guide. He had revealed truth to them so that they could live in a way that pleased Him and brought them satisfaction. But in the abandonment of the Law, Israel lost all moral sense. Nothing kept them from being worse than the pagan gentiles around them. And that is what dried them up to make them the useless dead wood that they had become. And when the fire would come from God, they would burn up quickly without discernment.
I can testify to the soul-drying effect of the neglect of the scriptures. When I stray from their life-giving words, I too will feel the vitality start to drain away from my soul. But when I seek God in them, I am strengthened, revived, and refreshed.