Selah

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"Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you. The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land. Selah" - Psalm 143:1-6

If you have ever read the Psalms, then you have encountered some of the most beautiful religious poetry ever written. You have probably also come across a strange italicized word that appears over 70 times in the Psalms: Selah (סלה). Is this English? Is it someone’s name? What does this mean?

In Psalm 3 you will find the following verse, “Salvation belongs unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah” (Ps. 3:8). What is this final word? Selah is a mysterious word sprinkled throughout the Book of Psalms over 70 times. As with Amen and Hallelujah, Selah is not English. It is an ancient Hebrew term that has not been translated because of its special sanctity. When we look at the Hebrew, there are a few possible interpretations.

It is telling that Selah always appears at the end of a block of verses. Since the Psalms were originally sung by the Levitical choir in the Temple, many of them contain musical directions. Some argue that Selah means to pause and reflect. Some scholars say Selah comes from the Hebrew root SLL (סלל), meaning “to raise up,” instructing the Levites to lift their voices. Others say Selah comes from the Hebrew word sal (סל) meaning “basket,” referencing a drum that was beaten at certain interludes.

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Presence

in gentle flow
in sacred rhythm

Pause
Pause deeply
Until your heart stops pounding
Until your mind stops racing

(selah)

Listen
Listen profoundly
To the silence
Until the chatter stops
Until the silence speaks

(Selah)

Respond
Respond freely
To life’s encounter
To joy and pain
To divine love
With love
With a cry or a tear
With dance or song
With life fully lived
in an eternity-moment

(Selah)

in gentle flow
in sacred rhythm
let it come again

Have Presence

Prayer: 
Father I need to be immersed in Your Word. Help me to read is slowly and prayerfully. Help me to take time to Selah. Amen.
Date: 
Nov 21 2018