Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Selah

Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
Many are they who say of me,
“There is no help for him in God.” Selah
But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah – Psalms 3:1-4

Often when I pray and speak my heart to God, I find myself filled with thoughts that take me from point A, where I was focused, to point Z!  I would feel guilty when this happened because after all, I was talking to Almighty God.  Surely, He did not care for my inattention to His presence!  My interruption in my prayer was certainly not a good use of His time, right?

But this past week as this happened, the Word came to me in one of these moments:  Selah.  I knew it had something to do with pausing, but I needed to know more.

Selah is a Hebrew word (Strong’s H5541) for pause, interruption, and a musical term for accentuation with a pause.  It’s used 74 times the Bible, but 71 of those are in the book of Psalms.  Read for yourself some of the uses of the word in Psalms and you’ll see that the writer, often David, would be in prayerful conversation with God when the Selah was added.  It was used many times as a pause in praying.  And after the pause…the come back!  A victorious recovery from the downfallen spirit!

I believe that when we pause in our prayers, we allow God to do the talking while we are silent.  What I thought was my mind wandering is often His lead.  Several times while praying over an issue, I’ve had the enlightenment I need to resolve the issue.  As a software developer I cannot tell you how many times this has occurred when after hours of trying I just cannot figure things out! Yes, that’s right, God’s wisdom is rich even in software development, and that I can testify! 

Selah.  Wait for His reply.  Let Him lead your mind.  What I found after the guilty feeling of not being focused on the prayer itself, was that after I did refocus, I was more at ease.  The victory of prayer lies within the Selah.  Listen and be led.