The Lord speaks to all believers and tells us what we should do in the meantime as the world is preparing for the coming of Yeshua. First, notice that the Lord answers Habakkuk using the very same words. Habakkuk asked: Why do you make me look (raah) at iniquity? The Lord answers, look (same root raah) among the nations.
Habakkuk complained saying why do you cause me to observe (Hebrew root nabat) wickedness? The Lord answers and asks Habakkuk, to observe (Hebrew root nabat) the nations, to pay attention to the world around for the Lord said He is working. So, the first answer is that in this present world the Lord is not silent at all nor unconcerned but instead, very involved.
The Lord does this by bringing us these three powerful words: look, observe and wonder!
There are actually four words in verse 5, the fourth being astonished which is the same Hebrew word as wonder. This repetition serves to emphasize the amazement, because once you look and observe His works in the world and what He does among the nations, astonishment and wonder should be our response.
And this answer is not for Habakkuk only: the Lord turns to us as well because the three words are in the plural imperative. Habakkuk asks, but the Lord gives the answer to all of us. Both words, look, raah, and observe, nabat, bid us to pay attention, to search, to look and observe. But what is it exactly that we are to observe?
Have we noticed how the world is moving according to God’s prophetic plan and have we looked and observed lately how He operates in our days? Have you noticed how Russia and Iran are so close to the borders of Israel with their military bases, yet little do they suspect that their geographical moves were predicted some 2500 years ago, and their next advancement has already been predicted in the many details found in Ezekiel 38 & 39. This is a matter of great wonder and astonishment.
Have you seen how the Kings of the rising sun, the Kings of the East, and in particular China and North Korea are now rising up, as prophesied by the Spirit of God in Revelation? Have you looked and observed how the western Europeans along with the North American countries have now joined forces just as the prophet predicted? Did you know that next week, all across Europe, NATO will mobilize its biggest military exercise since the Cold War?
And did you notice how the countries are increasingly looking down on Israel and how antisemitism’s rise is unprecedented? This also has been foretold in so many words through the prophets. That is also a matter of great wonder and astonishment.
And besides these things, have you seen how the climate is changing around us? Did you know that the year 2023 has been confirmed as the warmest on record? Something is going on in our world. Are you in awe when you consider all these things?
I have always wondered why prophecies of the Bible are not contained in just one or two of its books, instead of being spread throughout the whole of the Scriptures? Perhaps this is to help us sustain and maintain this great awe and astonishment as we read through the entire Scriptures all through our lives. So, no matter what season of life we are in or what chapter we are reading, prophecy is bound to be a part of what is going on, continually emphasizing that the Lord is in control. These events spread throughout the Scriptures keeps us looking, observing and always being in a humble admiration and reverence for God.