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The Meaning of Selah

August 1, 2018


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“.     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 Thee.    
Deliver me  from all my transgressions;    
Make me not  the reproach  of the foolish,    
I have become dumb,  I do not open my mouth,    
Because it is Thou  who hast done it.    
Remove Thy plague  from me;    
Because of the opposition  of Thy hand,  I am perishing.    
With reproofs  Thou dost chasten a man  for iniquity;    
Thou dost consume  as a moth  what is precious  to him;    
Surely every man is  a mere breath.

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 Thou  who hast 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 me  so dearly  in Jesus Christ.     Let me always remember Your love  in Christ,  so that it may lead me  to live for You  in all my ways.     Forgive my sins  for Jesus’ sake.”



A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1

How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


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.
Philippians 3:12






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