I have read the Psalms many times. For years I read five Psalms a day, working my way through the entire book each month. But as I read Psalm 57 this morning, I stopped on something I had never thought of before—the word Selah.
It is a word that appears 74 times in the Psalms and is one I usually skipped over as unimportant to the meaning of what is being stated. However, this morning I noticed that in the Amplified Bible it says that Selah means “Pause, and calmly think of that!” This morning, for the first time, I followed that instruction given in Scripture—I paused to think about what I’d just read that was linked to that word.
I discovered that the word Selah is a lot like the old Coca-Cola slogan that was first used in 1929.
As the world faced a serious financial depression and overwhelming social problems, Coca-Cola released a phrase that took the world by storm. It was Coca-Cola—the pause that refreshes.
But God had that slogan first! In the word selah.
Psalm 57:3 says: “He will send from heaven and save me from the slanders and reproaches of him who would trample me down or swallow me up, and He will put him to shame. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! God will send forth His mercy and loving-kindness and His truth and faithfulness.”
How refreshing is that in a time like ours?
The world is in turmoil. Our country is reeling from division. On top of that, the evil one is doing his best to discourage God’s people. John 10:10 calls the evil one the thief and tells us “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” In the middle of the chaos and pandemic, the enemy of our souls is there trying to steal our joy, kill our confidence in the God of love, and destroy our peace. Fortunately, that is not the end of the verse. John goes on to quote Jesus, “I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” Now that is something to pause and calmly think about!
I looked up more verses that God asks us to pause and calmly think about. Here are a few of them:
Psalm 3:8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; May Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah
Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And I did not hide my guilt; I said, “I will confess my wrongdoings to the Lord”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Psalm 32:7 You are my hiding place; You keep me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
Psalm 46:7 The Lord of armies is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah
Psalm 62:8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah
Psalm 66:7 He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; The rebellious shall not exalt themselves! Selah
Psalm 67:4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy; For You will judge the peoples with fairness And guide the nations on the earth. Selah
Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah
Psalm 76:9 When God arose to judgment, To save all the humble of the earth. Selah
These verses refresh me.
They remind me I have a God who is all powerful, all knowing, loving, and completely in charge. It takes me back to the statement God laid on my heart a few weeks ago.
“I am the victor. I know exactly what’s happening. I see more clearly than You do. In fact, I’m directing the fight. In fact, I’ve already won it. Rest in Me. Trust Me. Know I am working all things for your good and My glory. I will be glorified. I will be victorious. I AM God.”
How refreshing is that?
Julia Ewert (December 2020)