SELAH

31 01 2013

 It’s a word shrouded in mystery. Early English translators of the Bible left it alone and gave us the Hebrew transliteration. Since it is used mostly in the Book of Psalms, (the Hebrew song book), many believe it to be a musical term.

1. Pause and reflect

It goes beyond a “rest” in today’s music. This directive is an interlude within the lyrics of a song when the singers were to be quiet. They were to meditate upon what they just sang.

Missing in our quick paced culture is the art of meditation. Meditation is not daydreaming but a period of deep thought about an issue. Another word is to “muse”. We prefer to put our mind in neutral with a consistent diet of “amusement” (to not meditate). Perhaps we need more Selah breaks.

2. Raise the pitch

Think of a song introduced with a low and somber beginning. With each division or verse, the song is raised in pitch until it ends with a crescendo of unrestrained passion.

As we pause and meditate on an issue in light of God’s Word, we will raise the passion of our faith as we invite Him to make sense of our questions and as we seek Him to give wisdom. Consider plugging these thoughts into Psalm 46, and it will take on a refreshing air of hope. I’m not saying that you will muse your problems away. I am saying that musing will keep your problems into perspective.

The application is life changing. Let me share with you times in which you need to be especially conscious to take a “Selah” break.

IMPORTANT TIMES TO SELAH

1. When discouraged

When we get discouraged, it seems like the only things we think about are the problems, which leads to worry. Then we talk about the problem to people who will be quick to tell us that they have enough of their own. It’s tough to “Selah” when discouraged because it’s easier to complain or blame.

2. When afraid

Fear is not always bad, it keeps us honest and it is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). When fear turns to dread, panic, or anxiety, we need to Selah. Check out Psalm 56:3-4. You may not be able to do anything about your health, financial woes, or family problems, but you can “Selah”.

3. When confused

We look for answers and they do not come. We seek direction and can not find it. We wonder how things could go south so quickly and we draw a blank. Perhaps it’s time to “Selah”. As we meditate on God’s goodness in spite of the circumstances, we may find our faith being raised a half pitch.

4. When busy

This could be the most needful time to “Selah” lest disaster blindside us. We get so distracted by our own busy-ness that we consider meditation a luxury that we could not afford. If you refuse to “Selah” in this rat race of life, you may lose grip on what is really important. Besides, the rats may even end up winning!

I hear that 10,000 thoughts go through the average human mind in one day. If we allow a handful of those thoughts to be dedicated to musing, perhaps we will find strength we never thought we could have! “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto thee” (Matthew 6:33).

 

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