Monday, January 25, 2010

Be Astonished

"Look among the nations!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days -
you would not believe it if you were told."
Habakkuk 1:5

Habakkuk was a frustrated prophet. We know this because in his book, he starts it by saying, "The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw." Oracle can be translated burden as well. This prophet carried the burden of bringing the Word of God to a people who were down trodden and oppressed. In the opening verses of his book, Habakkuk calls out to the Lord and asks him why the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. Verse 5 is God's answer.

As I have dipped my toes into the world of writing, I have learned a lot. One thing that stands out when I read this verse is the use of exclamation points. My editor told me once that she will use possibly only one exclamation point per chapter she writes. She said that when you use one, it should really make a point. Of course, then I had to erase the 75 exclamation points I had used per chapter and change my writing style a bit.

Now, I know that the punctuation is not inspired, but in light of the message God is giving Habakkuk, I personally think that the four exclamation points are necessary to emphasize the message in verse 5.

God is doing an incredible work among the nations. We need to be astonished and amazed. Why do we see God's work and think, 'Oh, that's nice.' The fact that He chooses to work and walk among us is a blessing in and of itself, but we are so comfortable in our lives that we have missed out on the opportunity to be astonished and amazed. So I am going to share a story from Dave's trip to Haiti and I am going to give you the opportunity to be astonished.

One of the seminaries that Dave spent time at had a woman who had worked there for 30 years. She was an American missionary and she had every reason to be sorrowful - not only was the structure in shambles but students and teachers alike lay dead within the ruins. But she looked at Dave and the pastors with him and said, "Did you hear the good news? Senegal, which is a muslim country, is opening its borders to Haitian refugees! This is the first time in its history that they are letting refugees in the country! Do you think that God caused this earthquake so that a dark, muslim country could receive missionaries from Haiti to bring them the light of Jesus Christ?"

Wow. What a perspective. Is it possible? Is God really in control?

We need to look at the nations, observe, be astonished and wonder at this amazing God we serve. He is doing something in our day that even if we were told, we'd struggle to believe it.

See you in the morning...


  1. Lesson 11, right?

    It still is mind-boggling to think He is working among the nations while all at the same time working among individuals, millions and millions of individuals. We should be astonished at His greatness, and comforted as well. What an amazing, awesome God!!!!! (He is definitely worth more than one !)

  2. I feel for you and the limiting of exclamation points as well. This is one of my favorite verses!! It causes me to pause and leave my perspective and look at God's! I have had some moments recently that I am astonished by! God has been orchestrating pieces for some time now and I am getting a glimpse of what He is doing. By the way it is not at all what I would have done or who I would have done it with or through! WHAT A MIGHTY,IMAGINATIVE AND UTTERLY FAITHFUL GOD WE SERVE! See you tomorrow

  3. His ways are not our ways, and ours are not his. But....his are oh so much more effective and eternal!!! I love seeing his hand at work in every event/person.