God is at work among a suffering people for their future well-being. Though they have been wounded in the judgment they have experienced, God promises healing.
These verses are the opening section of the Book of Consolation. God is the speaker, and it is clear that God has entered deeply into the people’s suffering and seeks to deliver and heal Israel. However much Israel deserves the consequences for their infidelities, God will not leave the people to wallow in them. God will inaugurate a new day and extricate them from the effects of their own sin. So the clear gospel word is stated: have no fear, be not dismayed, for I am with you, and I will save you (30:10-11). The present time of captivity is a time of chastisement, for sin will not go unvisited; yet, it is not an end in itself, but a means to refine and restore Israel (30:11).
The promised salvationSalvation can mean saved from something (deliverance) or for something (redemption). Paul preached that salvation comes through the death of Christ on the cross which redeemed sinners from death and for a grace-filled life. More has both internal and external aspects, and the image of healing is used to describe both (30:12-17). God’s healing is as comprehensive as is God’s salvation: individual and communal; present and future; spiritual and psychical/bodily; religious and social/economic/political. It would entail deliverance from fear and dismay, removal of their enemies, and returning the scattered ones from various lands to their homeland. Even cities and homes will be rebuilt, the few shall become many, they shall be honored, and joyful sounds shall once again be heard on the street (30:18-20).
No human source or creational resource is capable of bringing healing to this devastated people. Only God can be their healer: “I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal” (30:17). And “you shall be my people, and I will be your God” (30:22).