I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “Selah”. You may have noted I put it at the end of several of my posts. I’ve been surprised as I’ve written to hear that word in my head at the end like it was just supposed to be there.
I looked it up today and the word is used 71 times in Psalms and 3 times in Habakkuk. Strong’s Concordance gives this definition: suspension (of music), that is, pause.
The Amplified Bible translates it this way: Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Why am I thinking about this word used randomly in 74 verses in the Bible? I think it’s because I’ve noticed something that really is alarming when you ‘pause and think about it’—Christians don’t seem to think enough. We tend to blindly take whatever we hear from TV or radio teachings or the pulpit as Truth without ever thinking about what we heard (or examining the Scriptures to see if what we heard was Truth – see Acts 17:11). Or on the flip side, we quickly rule out teaching that doesn’t ‘sound right’ because we’ve never heard it before, or because it doesn’t fit with ‘how we were raised’. How do I know Christians do this? Well, for one thing, I watch and listen to people. And for another, I did it myself for years! 🙂
So here are some thoughts for consideration….
We don’t take time to think because there simply is no time to think. Most are so busy just making it through life and the details that consume us that we’re just too tired to think deeper thoughts.
We don’t want to think about anything because then we might have to do something (like search the Scriptures) and we just don’t have any more time!
Or if we do have a small amount of free time, we choose to find other things to do rather than think. We prefer ‘mindless’ tasks like watching TV or reading books where all turns out great in the end rather than focusing on the One who holds all meaning to life.
I talked to one friend who said she was so strictly taught to respect her elders, particularly the pastor, she never even thought to question what she heard him say.
Technically there are as many reasons as there are people but my challenge to you to day is to ‘think on these things’ (see Philippians 4:8). To really think about something needs to be an intentional act…not a random and infrequent event!
Thinking is not always an easy thing….it often raises more questions. For example, as I’ve paused to think about the word ‘selah’ I’ve raised more questions:
Why is it used only in 2 books of the Bible? Why is it used where it’s used in the Psalms? Why is it used in Habakkuk….most people have never heard of Habakkuk, much less read it! Why is it only used in chapter 3 of Habakkuk? One thing I did notice in Habakkuk is that he brought his questions to God. If he had questions, that means he was thinking! Are you?
I’m sure somewhere someone has written a book on the word ‘selah’. However, I just don’t think I have time to read it…..