Message From Matt – September 12

Take a SELAH!  
Have you ever heard of that word?  I’m sure you have but I am sure that it’s not a word that you use often in your regular conversations.  
That word is found 74 times in the Bible (71 in Psalms and 3 times in Habakkuk) and no one seems to be clear on what the definition really means.  
Some say it means to “exalt” or “lift up”.  Others say that it refers to a loud sound that should be made by musical instruments.  However, most believe that the word means to take a pause and reflect on what was just stated.
I tend to believe the last possibility!  
I think the writers in Psalms use the word for the reader to stop and reflect on what was just said as a way for it to sink in.
For example, look at Psalm 77 and see how Asaph uses the word:

  • Verses 1-3, when he was completely overwhelmed, he said…
    • “I cried unto God with my voice…”; “In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord:…” “…my soul refused to be comforted”; “…I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed”  Then he wrote SELAH!
  • Verses 4-9, when the troubles kept on coming, he said…
    • “…I am so troubled that I cannot speak.”; “Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?”; “Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?”; “Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?  Then he wrote SELAH!
  • Verses 10-15, when he remembered how good God was to him, he said…
    • “…This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.”; “I will remember the works of the Lord:”; “I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”; “Thou art the God that doest wonders: Thou hast declared thy strength among the people.”  Then he wrote SELAH!

It seems to me that this writer struggled like we do, but maybe even to a greater degree.  Things weren’t going well in life and he had frustrations and questions.  However, before being rash, he decided to take a pause and think about what was going on!  He decided to be still for a moment!  Even while he was questioning God’s goodness, he was wise enough to stop and process what all was taking place!  Simply, he took a SELAH!  
You might be having some problems in your life as well!  
Maybe you feel overwhelmed, troubled, and forgotten!  However, before you do anything negative with those thoughts, can I suggest that you take a SELAH?
I believe that if you will reflect on your problems in light of God’s Word and power, then you will come away with a perspective that is completely positive.  
After Asaph questioned God but took time to actually think about what he was thinking, he realized how wrong that he was!  He remembered how good God was and is!  He remembered all the things that God did for him and all the wonders that God had done in all the world!  He decided to go from complaining about God to declaring God’s goodness…because he took time to pause and think!
When we think about God more than our problems, things tend to make more sense and we can feel less overwhelmed! 
I decided that I need to take more SELAH’s in my life!  Maybe you need to as well.  Stop, think and reflect on how good God has been to you…you won’t regret it!