I’ve read the word before – seems like most often in Psalms, but I’d never understood the significance of it. Until this last week.
“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works on man’s behalf!
He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot.
Come, let us rejoice in him. SELAH.” - Psalm 66:6-7
God answered prayer, and this psalm records the praises. God saved the psalmist from an enemy and it was done in no small way!
A miracle occurred, and this is a call to remember it. Really? Could God’s intervention in such an incredible way ever be forgotten? “Selah” follows this call.
In fact, three times in Psalm 66, the psalmist writes “Selah.” A quick search finds 77 calls to Selah in the Psalms and one in Habakkuk 3.
What is this call to “Selah,” and is it something I need to understand or, more importantly, do?
The Amplified Bible says, “Pause and calmly think about that” to each verse concluding with “Selah”.
Pause and consider
Much in our culture nudges us to move on, to accomplish the next task, and to learn the advanced steps. Little emphasis is placed on this idea of Selah. Pause and consider. Given the number of times God calls us in His Word to Selah and “remember,” I’m assuming this neglect is not unique to our time and culture.
Recently I sensed God’s personal call to pause. A few days earlier I’d faced a struggle that brought me to my knees. I cried out to God for help – a vulnerable plea and admission that I was in over my head. He granted peace and a good night’s sleep.
I woke and moved on. Until a couple days later, in a quiet moment of reading His Word, God whispered, “Pause.”
I needed to do more than accept peace and keep moving forward. I needed to “calmly think about” how God had met me. In an effort to take His intervention seriously, I journaled His answer to my prayer in detail. And I discovered that it was in this pause that I saw Him more clearly and praised Him more fully.
Pico Ayer wrote: “In an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still.”
I thank the Lord for calling me to pause, to recognize to what He had done out of His love for me. I had received peace, but I would have missed the joy of praise that followed if He had not given me this powerful word – SELAH.
PULL UP A CHAIR:
Is a “Selah” due in your life? A pause to remember? Praise in response to His love?