The Meaning of Selah
The Meaning of Selah
“Selah” is a Hebrew word that appears as a side note in many of the Psalms. It’s entire depth of meaning is uncertain, but it generally means a suspension of music, “a pause“. The Hebrew word “Selah” is derived from another Hebrew word meaning “to weigh“. So, it could include a musical direction for a crescendo or a musical interlude of some sort.
That said, it is interesting to note where the word “Selah” appears. It seems to always be in spots where something of significance has been said — and it would be wise for the reader to pause awhile and weigh in our minds what was said. In each instance, it would be beneficial to meditate on what was said and apply it to our personal walk with God.
For instance, in Psalm 39, King David is thinking about how he needs to guard his tongue when he is amongst wicked people. He does not want to sin at such a time and he wants God to help him remember that our life here on earth is relatively nothing when compared to eternity. So, while David has to put up with wicked people here, he wants to realize that all their wickedness is a passing thing. So David sings in Psalm 39:7-11,
And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in You.
Deliver me from all my transgressions;
Make me not the reproach of the foolish,
I have become mute, I do not open my mouth,
Because it is You who have done it.
Remove Your plague from me;
Because of the opposition of Your hand, I am perishing.
With reproofs You chasten a man for iniquity;
You consume as a moth what is precious to him;
Surely every man is a mere breath. [Selah.]
Here is where David wants to stop and think — [Selah.] He wants to pause and meditate on all the facts of his situation. David surely hopes for God’s deliverance from all his own sins — not to even mention deliverance from what the wicked have in mind.
David humbly realizes that God is fully aware of what the wicked are saying and doing to him — and yet, God is allowing the wicked to continue being a real pain to David. In his anguish, David realizes that God is refining his faith in the midst of all his own sins, so he prays, “Deliver me from all my transgressions,” and “Because it is You who have done it.”
That is something to think about — [Selah.] We are all sinners — and those who put their faith in the LORD are the children of God. As God’s children, our heavenly Father will discipline us in any number of ways to teach us to live as His dear children. None of these troubles in life are to make us angry with the Lord. Like David, we need to realize that God knows what is best for us — whether it be discipline or a blessing. He knows how to build us up in the true faith, hope and love. God knows how to refine us and sanctify us in His truths.
With all that, we can humbly be like David, who accepted the troubles God allowed into his life because they are God’s way of teaching us and leading us in righteousness. David dealt with the wicked in a godly manner without sinning, because he realized that God’s discipline was only for his own eternal good. So, he prayed for deliverance from the enemy and from the consequences of his own sins.
All of God’s children have to deal with the wicked. Let us do so in a godly manner, praying for the forgiveness of our own sins and for deliverance from the wicked intentions of others. It is all in God’s hands, so we need to always humbly look to our Lord for deliverance.
As we humbly walk with our Lord, we say, “Hallelujah! Almighty God, You have loved us so dearly in Jesus Christ. Let us always remember Your love in Christ, so that it may lead us to live for You in all our ways. Forgive our sins for Jesus’ sake.”
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.