Selah

Jan 21, 2017 // By:Sue Cadieux // 1 comment

I’m always learning something in my Christian walk, and over the course of the past several months God has been speaking volumes to me. Don’t you love when God keeps showing you something over and over but in different ways?

I have to laugh because it’s actually pretty funny the way God works. He tells or shows me something (through a devotional, bible study, Facebook post,  prayer time with him etc. etc.) and I don’t get it. So, he says, okay, she didn’t get my message, let’s try it this way…and He tries again…and He will keep on trying until He gets through my thick skulled brain. Sound familiar?

Aren’t you glad that we have a loving God who never gives up on us?

So lately, God has been speaking to me over and over about the word selah.

Although this word is used 74 times in the bible, this was a new word for me. Do you know what it means? When I looked up the definition I found the following: “an expression occurring frequently in the Psalms, thought to be a liturgical or musical direction, probably a direction by the leader to raise the voice or perhaps an indication of a pause.”

The Hebrew definition says it is a pause such as at the end of a verse or the end of a Psalm. When we see selah in a portion of Scripture, it’s telling us we should pause and think, meditate or reflect about what we have just read or heard.

In modern times many believe it was originally a musical term placed to cause one to pause because 31 of the 39 Psalms that contain this word have a salutation: “To the chief Musician”.  Although we don’t see the word “selah” in any music that we read, it is like an invisible reminder that could be written above the bar of a measure, telling us to pause between the measures, sometimes bringing notice or an emphasis to a particular note in the music.

In the world of music writing, composers or song writers will include spaces of less activity or no activity which are known as rests in the music. And while the rests may change in length, it is deliberately intended by the writer as a means of ensuring his best expression in the music or lyrics.

If a musician or singer were to choose to ignore these rests, the best expression of this song is quickly degraded and may actually sound terrible to someone listening. So what happens in our lives if we ignore these rests or selah moments?

We have discovered that selah means to stop, pause, rest, take a break, think, reflect, or meditate. But, do you truly know what this means and what it looks like?

We as women tend to go 100 miles an hour in 1000 different directions. Have you woken up in the morning and wondered to yourself how you are going to get everything done. You immediately start thinking of what your day will look like:

Drop the kids off at school, go to work for 8 hours, pick the kids up, bring one to dance lessons and the other to basketball practice. Stop at the store to pick up milk, go home, make dinner, go back and pick up the kids, throw a load of laundry in, bake a batch of cupcakes for your daughters party tomorrow, listen to your husband talk about his day at work while sewing a button on his shirt and then sit down and relax! Oops, forgot about the laundry in the washing machine as well as frosting those cupcakes. Okay, time to finally sit down and relax. You open your bible and you find your self  dozing off within 5 minutes.  It’s now time for bed and before you know it, you are waking up the next day and it starts all over again.

What comes to your mind as as you read this? Tired? Exhausted? Overwhelmed? I’m tired just writing this, and as it may be an exaggeration,  it makes the point. We as women do too much and very rarely find time for ourselves never mind find time for God.

Ladies, it’s time! We need to take time to breathe, to stop, to pause, to rest. More importantly we need to include  God in those selah moments. God wants our selah moments so we will embrace his word and His spirit. This is what will bring us closer to him. He doesn’t want to see his daughters tired and worn out. He wants us to come to Him each and every day!

In Matthew 11:28-30, God is telling us  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

One of my favorite verses comes from Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.”
The Hebrew meaning of be still is “to let go.” In order to move forward in our lives and in our relationship with God, we need to let go and release. Release ourselves of all the busyness of our days and spend quiet time with our Creator, our Abba Father.

The enemy will tell us we need to keep busy, that we need to be “Superwoman” and that we don’t have time to sit, be still and relax. Show the enemy he is wrong, slow down and and fight FOR the selah moments in your lives! God loves you and wants a relationship with you. He wants us to turn to him, trust in his ways and believe in all his promises for us. We need to allow Him to minister to us in those quiet moments, take those selah moments to feel the love He has for you.

Just like the musician or singer who must pay attention to the rests in a song in order to bring forth the beauty of the song for the listeners, we must pay attention to these intended God appointed rests in order to bring forth the beauty of our lives that God has planned for us. Ignoring God’s intended rests takes away from our participation in being the notes of His beautiful song that He has written for us.

 

Doesn’t this sound like a much better plan than to keep going 100 miles and hour in a thousand different directions?

 

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  1. great word ! Never thought of selah as musical expression (and great application too) 🙂

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