In both the Old and New Testaments, it is the Lord God who astonishes His creatures. There is, however, a stark difference in the use of the word in the Hebrew and the Greek.
The Old Testament refers mostly to the astonishing power of God in His punishment upon His people and other nations. The New Testament speaks of the astonishing life, work, and teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Greek is the same word used for amazed.
Does anything amaze us, anymore? Or are we simply being amused? Amusement engages the mind and the heart, appealing to the flesh and its sensations. The more amused, the less we are amazed.
It is amazing what men haved accomplished with the powers that God has given them. Industry, technology, and giftedness in men, are amazing. To think of how we communicate, e-mail, and receive documents is amazing to me. We see all these developments and attribute it to the power of men. I believe that had Adam been obedient, God would have allowed men to do more than they have, but man’s power has been harnessed by a weaker power since the Fall. It is amazing that with all these powers, we have not destroyed ourselves. I am amazed that our Father has allowed rebellion to go on as long as He has. Through it all, He reveals His power over all things, circumstances, and time.
We are blessed when the Father opens our eyes to the wonders of His creation, His redemption, and continued revelations through His Word and Spirit. He keeps us in constant amazement.
Old Testament H074
Strong’s Concordance defines ASTONISHED, shamem shä·mām’; to be desolate, be appalled, stun, stupefy
“And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.” Leviticus 26:32
“The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.”
“Because of the wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.” Jeremiah 50:13
Ezekiel is astonished at the captivity of his people.
“Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.” Ezekiel 3:15
The Lord made the desolation of Tyrus a terror before men
“All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance.”
Ezekiel 27:35; Ezekiel 28:19
“And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king’s business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” Daniel 8:27
The only reference to the astonishment of God’s grace in the Old Testament is in Daniel 3:24 when King Nebuchadnezzar saw four men in the furnace.
New Testament G1605
Strong’s Concordance defines ASTONISHED, ekplēssō ek-plā’s-sō; to be struck with amazement, astonished, amazed
The first astonishment mentioned of Jesus was at the age of twelve in the temple sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
“And all that heard him were astonished
at his understanding and answers.”
“And they were astonished at his doctrine:
for he taught them as one that had authority,
and not as the scribes.”
And the scribes and chief priests sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine. Mark 11:18
And the disciples were astonished at his words when Jesus spoke of the difficulty of those that trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God. Mark 10:24
“And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?” Mark 10:26
Peter and those with him were astonished at the fish which they had taken. Luke 5:9
Astonished at His Healing
And people were beyond measure astonished at Jesus’ power to heal.
Astonished at His Resurrection
“Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;” Luke 24:22
Astonishment Continued in the Early Church
Paul, on the road to Damascus, trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. Acts 9:6
The Jews which believed were astonished because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Gentiles. Acts 10:45
They were astonished when prayer was answered for Peter’s release from prison. Acts 12:16
When Paul spoke to the sorcerer and caused his blindness, the deputy of Paphos believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord. Acts 13:6-12
Father in heaven, who can know you and not be astonished? Open our eyes, ears, and hearts to see, hear, to experience your grace and glory, your greatness, goodness, and power in us as your children. Let us speak of our amazement of your kingdom here on earth and the vision of the glory that awaits us in eterntiy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.