“Hey! Did you see that?”
When’s the last time you beheld a sight that took your breath away?
Psalm 119:33-40 – Hey
Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared. Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good. How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness (NIV).
Psalm 119 is an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet with eight verses devoted to each letter. This passage is based on the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, hey. You can read about the first four letters here, here, here, and here.
The early pictograph for hey was a man with his arms raised, while the word is actually translated to mean “look,” “behold,” or “lo” in Scripture. I do hope you realize that God Himself created this alphabet and all its various meanings! Check this out:
Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”
They replied, “Certainly, O king.”
He said, “Look! [Hey!] I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:24-25).
(Isn’t it funny that we actually use the word hey in the same way – Hey! Did you see that?)
It’s a word that signifies amazement, revelation, and wonder. Hey can also mean “breath” or “sigh.” Have you ever beheld the glory of God? Maybe you have stood on the shore and marveled as the waves broke, one after another, in power and strength and continuity. Or maybe you have gazed on the multitude of stars on a clear night and felt the sheer vastness of the galaxies. Maybe you have held a tiny foot in the palm of your hand and the moment took your breath away.
That is the hey – the wonder of God.
Perhaps that was what John the Baptist felt in that moment when he exclaimed, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world! (John 1:29).
Those are the moments that should cause us to not only miss a breath, but then to respond with hands lifted in worship and surrender, just like the man in that ancient pictograph. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just see more of those moments in our day instead of those that cause us to worry or fear or be angry?
We can. Look again at the secret in Psalm 119. The Psalmist prayed that God would turn his eyes away from worthless things and turn his heart toward His Words instead. Of course, we can’t hide from the world and pretend ugliness doesn’t exist. But there are plenty of moments in which we can choose to turn away from the “worthless things” that consume us, and instead choose to focus on the glory of God.
I don’t know about you, but I would much rather stand in amazement with arms lifted high at the wonder and glory and majesty of my God. He is Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, Jehovah Shalom, my Peace, Jehovah Rapha, my Healer, and Jehovah Nissi, a Banner over me.
Sigh. Hands to the sky. That’s my God.