Selah

We’ve been walking through Psalm 46 this week and we looked at it in 3 sections. At the end of each section was a small word: Selah. We can’t move past our meditation on this Psalm without considering the importance of this precious word.

Have you built the action of “Selah” into your day?

What I mean by that is, are you intentional in taking worship breaks where you “lift up offerings” to the Lord?

Let me explain what I mean by using Psalm 3:4 for an example:

“I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah”

That word at the end of this verse is extremely important.

This small word is inserted no less than seventy-one times in the Psalms and three times in the little book of Habakkuk. It may be a musical directive (scholars have debated its exact purpose for years). But one thing we do know, it is giving purposeful direction to the reader.

Selah is an action word, a verb, and the literal translation is: “to lift up, exalt.” 

When I see the word “Selah” it is God’s personal reminder that it’s time for me to: Pause and lift up worship; exalt God with an offering of praise.

My favorite way to do this is to step outside, close my eyes for just a moment, and take a deep inhale of God’s grace. I focus on His truth, His mercy, His faithfulness, or His steadfast lovingkindness. I focus on God’s character and spend a moment briefly worshiping Him. I think about what He taught me in the Word that morning, or I spend some moments just crying out to Him and expressing gratitude that He’s listening.

The Benefits of Selah:

  • Selah can happen while you’re loading the dishwasher or folding laundry.
  • Selah takes you into God’s presence which translates into “fullness of joy.”
  • Selah allows for needed moments of rest from the pressures of a stressful day.
  • Selah takes your heart to the throne of God . . . and that is always a good thing.
  • Selah values and glorifies God—and that’s why we’re here.

Last week we focused on the power of song and its importance to God. Selah may be a musical directive inserted at critical points in the movement of a song. As you’re moving through the rhythm of your day, incorporate the meaningful pause of selah.

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/FreeDigitalPhotos.net



  1. Posted by Vicki

    Dear Kim,

    As I have turned my focus in 2015 from prayer to love, it has surprised me that an “aha” moment has come so early in the year. It actually came from a book I’ve been reading a chapter in each morning called “The Prayer that Changes Everything” by Stormie Omartian. (I started it last year, but was making myself finish it even though I didn’t think it had much to do with love – silly me!! 🙂 )A couple days ago the chapter I read was entitled “When I am troubled by negative thoughts and emotions.” I feel like it brought such clarity to an area of truth that I have come to understand in part – that “the joy of The Lord is my strength.”

    In this chapter, Stormie made a comment about trusting in God’s love that immediately grabbed my attention – “How do we really receive God’s love,more than just knowing it in our mind?” Wow!! That’s exactly what I want to come to understand in a much greater way this year! She goes on to mention several objective means, and then…”and it happens when we reach up to Him – in praise and worship.” In short what she said is that “the joy of The Lord REALLY is our strength!!” Expressing our love to God opens up a channel through which His love flows into our heart!

    Each day I’m asking myself, “What keeps me from loving well?” That day the answer was “a heart that is not full of gratitude and lips that do nat praise God for Who He is and what He has done, is doing, and will do – and here’s the kicker – EVEN WHEN I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT!!

    So I’m combining your very practice “timer” idea with praise and worship, and incorporating into my day several “Selah breaks.” That is my very first take-away from my 2015 focus on love! It flows right out of prayer/praise, and it seemed to fit very well with this post.

    Selah!!
    Vicki


    • Posted by Kimberly Wagner

      So, cool, Vicki!

      Thanks for sharing what God is teaching you and how He is at work. I love it! It is so encouraging to know that you are growing in your prayer and love life! Yep, mutual growth in those two areas most definitely goes together 🙂


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