Devotional – Selah

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.  Selah
Psalm 46:1-3

My reading focused on being in God’s will requiring that we wait for His timing in life. Sometimes we feel like we’ve been given a huge “ah-ha!” in our lives when we finally see clearly the dream/goal/vision from the Lord. We get all excited at this great plan in our lives and forget that we need to wait for God to walk us down the path to get there. We rush ahead trying to accomplish things on our own and only remember to pause when we hit a rough patch. As I was reading the accompanying scriptures this morning, one word stuck out. Selah.

This is a word that I’ve seen at the end of Psalms for a long time, but never really took a moment to figure out what it was. This week, when setting up a prayer table at our church, I had a short conversation with our youth pastor Josh. He was describing the set up for our week of prayer, saying that several areas were going to be labeled simply “Selah”. So, since this is the second time in just a couple days that I’ve been reminded of this word – I thought I’d take a few moments and talk about it.

Selah is one of the most difficult concepts in Hebrew to translate. There is much discussion on what it really means. Most commonly Selah is thought to indicate an encouragement to stop and listen. It seems to enforce the importance of what was just written, asking the reader to pause and reflect on the preceding passage.  Another possibility is that it refers to weighing items as on a scale. Scholars seem to think this is a vast difference, but to me it’s roughly the same idea as the whole stop, listen deal. When measuring something by weight, you’re comparing one thing against the other. Back in the day, weighing was a way of determining value. So placing something on a scale essentially was taking a look to see what it was worth. Just as stopping to reflect on something you’ve just been told, or pausing to really take time to dissect information is a way of calculating value. Reflection on scripture causes me to understand more deeply the immense profit the word of God has in my life. Just reading a verse or two because it goes along with your devotional that day is a good place to start, but the admonition to pause and think about the meaning of those precepts is where the practical application of God’s word is discovered.

It was pretty wonderful for me today to see a word in my reading, decide that the word was more interesting than the verses/devotional was today. Do some studying on it and realize that the word means the same (probably) as what my devotional for the day was prompting me to do in the first place. Stop, wait, listen. Take time to not only look for the will of God in my life, but then walk that path with Him. Not racing headlong into a promised plan, but pausing to take the journey with the Lord. Waiting and reflecting often on what He might be showing me the very next step. Selah.

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