Definition of He’
He’ (pronounced hay) is the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Scholars and theologians often define it as ventilation or breathing room, which will relate to the use of windows in our life. Windows represent perspective, new opportunities, and understanding.
In the last section under the letter Daleth, we talked about open-and-closed doors (our opportunities). Now, verses 33-40, or He’, will show us how to check the windows when doors aren’t available; how looking through a different window (changing our perspective) gives us breathing room; and how opening certain windows provides ventilation for our souls.
Psalm 119:33-40 | ה He’
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies And not to dishonest gain.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity, And revive me in Your ways.
38 Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You.
39 Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your ordinances are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me through Your righteousness.
Check the windows (vs. 33-35)
If the doors aren’t open, check the windows.
You and I are students of life. Our opportunities, mistakes, and experiences create lessons for us. As we go from lesson to lesson, we encounter open-and-closed doors that may or may not be right for us. When we need an open door, but there isn’t one, it’s on us to check the windows. The psalmist asks God to teach him the way of His statutes. In the same way, when we ask God to teach us His will (and then observe it to the end), it’s as if we’re checking the window before walking out of or through a door.
The more you know God’s will, the more familiar you’ll be with His promises for your life and more confident to go through your new opportunities. Whether it’s through the front door or the side window. When we pursue learning, we practice integrity and become teachable, which is the most important quality of a student.
Sometimes we do the opposite and check the windows without even looking for the door. In verse 34, the psalmist asks God for understanding to observe His law (God’s will) and keep it with all his heart. As we pursue understanding from God, we’re able to observe his law, or his will, and keep it with all our hearts. Ultimately, it leads us to discernment!
Last, part of checking the windows in every area of our life is to do so with delight. The more you get familiar with His will, the more you’ll delight in it. And the more you delight in it, the more freely you’ll walk in the path of His commandments.
Change perspective (vs. 36-37)
How different is the view when you’re outside looking in versus inside looking out?
It’s not always that we have to check the windows, sometimes we just need to change our perspective. When the psalmist prays to God to incline his heart to His testimonies, it’s like he’s praying for a change in perspective. When we change perspective, we turn our eyes away from something familiar.
Perspectives are like lenses that we need to willingly look through. You can’t put on glasses without intentionally doing so. To turn your eyes away from vanity is to change your lens and think past yourself. This helps us in our personal development, faith, and relationships. Sometimes our perspective strains our eyes, so changing it can remove our strain and help us see clearer.
The psalmist also asks God to revive him in His ways. It’s one thing to change perspective, but to get revived (or enlightened) afterwards is where the rubber meets the road. Looking at things from the other end of the spectrum can inspire us, but when we ask God to revive us, we’re asking to get awakened to what’s next.
Seek discomfort (vs. 38-40)
To learn is to stretch the muscles of our mind; it’s uncomfortable in the moment, but reviving in the aftermath.
Checking windows or changing perspectives isn’t always comfortable. It’s a stretch for your mind! When I think of what it means to do either of these things, I look at the next verse (38) in this section and note what the psalmist asks: 38 Establish Your word to Your servant, As that which produces reverence for You.
When God’s word gets established in us, it produces reverence (fear of the Lord). The point is to ask God to establish His word to us; for Him to highlight the pillars to you for your faith, because that’s what produces reverence. This is how to seek your way out of complacency – by seeking discomfort!
When this happens, our inner person gets ventilated. His word enters and circulates freely, clearing off what’s not from Him (reproach). Then, this helps us change perspective through revelation (revives us) and ultimately leads us to desire God’s will for our life more than before.