Be Astonished And Astounded
“Look around [you, Habakkuk, replied the Lord] among the nations and see! And be astonished! Astounded! For I am putting into effect a work in your days [such] that you would not believe it if it were told you.” Habakkuk 1:5 Amplified Bible
In Acts 13 Paul is sharing the good news with people and they want to hear more. He tells those listening that they need to be careful to not be like the scoffers of Habakkuk’s time. He tells them that God is doing a work in their day, that they would not believe if it were told to them.
If we go back and look at what Habakkuk said to God in his day, we find the prophet concerned because of the perverseness that was prevailing in the land. He observed that wicked surrounded the righteous and all that he could see around him was evil and not God and His righteousness.
God answers Habakkuk’s complaint in the verse above by saying that He is doing a new thing in the prophet’s day. He says that Habakkuk would not believe what God was doing but that he should look and see. He tells the prophet that he should look with expectation and that he should be ready to be astonished and astounded at what the Lord was about to do.
In every age, God is doing something great and wondrous that would not be believed with natural minds. Don’t be discouraged by what you see going on around you in our culture. It is easy to get frustrated and wonder when the power of God’s Word will bring forth revival. It is easy to be like Habakkuk and only see in the natural the evil that prevails and is even promoted in our culture. When we see those things, like Habakkuk, it can leave us wondering where the Lord is in this day we live in. But God said to Habakkuk that He was still in control and doing great things, things that would astonish and astound even the man of God.
When Paul is speaking to the crowds in Acts, he tells them the exact same thing, to not scoff at what they see. The Lord was doing a work in their day that they would not believe if it were told to them. The same thing is true for us even today. Do not be discouraged and scoff at what you see taking place around you. Do not become discouraged. Instead, we can be agents of change that Jesus can use to do His great and marvelous work in this day; works that you would not believe even if it were told to you. Be an agent for advancing His kingdom by having boldness and expecting great things. Jesus has amazing things for this day and is waiting for people who will believe and act accordingly. Have that heart and then look, just as He instructed Habakkuk to do. Look and see what is coming. Have a soul that is looking to be astonished and astounded in this very day!
J Todd Hostetler