Psalm 68:19 “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah.”
A term frequently used in scripture is the word Selah. It literally means to lift up or exalt. In the Hebrew, it is an instruction calling for a break in the singing of a Psalm. The contemplative nature of the term is meant to allow the listener to reflect on the truth just administered.
The necessity of reflection is a quality of study that has been a challenge for many who desire a consistency in God’s Word. Common programs such as yearly bible reading guides focus more on completing a section of scripture rather than drawing truth out of your time with God. For those who read the Bible just for the sake of completing the work, there is a loss that occurs from peering into the depths of God and forgetting to take it in.
Psalm 143:5-6 “I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your works;
I muse on the work of Your hands.
I spread out my hands to You;
My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.” Selah
The quality of listening to God speak through His Word is the primary way for the follower of Christ to gain knowledge of His will. How often do we pray for an answer, only to limit our ability to hear God’s response?
The attributes of a busy life is a badge many wear in honor. Someone asks how was your week and the response is, “I was just so busy this week”, is given as a sign of productivity, but is being productive always related to busyness? The quality of being still has lost its significance in a world that thrives on progress. Particularly in western culture, the drive to attain more is elevated to prominence while the one who hasn’t made success their god is looked on with disdain.
Psalm 119:15-16 “I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.”
Listening to God
A people that will not listen to God, does not pray according to God’s will. When prayers offered up are asked according to our plans and not God’s plans, we are foolish to think we can expect anything. Our will and desires can trump God’s will if we forget to seek out that which He desires. Meditating on the precepts of God give us insight to His heart. The more we know and understand God’s heart, the more we see the world through His eyes.
Zechariah 7:13 “Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the LORD of hosts.”
Many times I hear someone who claims they no longer walk with God give the reason that God didn’t bless them or they thought God didn’t listen or care about their needs, but the fervor of God’s love has never been in question. The call is to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and yet we seek to affirm our kingdom and justify our lives by the world’s standards rather than what is righteousness and good.
The quality of a servant of God is defined by the Word of God.
If we want to know if we are walking according to God’s will, if our teaching is accurate, if our decisions are good, or our life reflects righteousness—the Bible is the plumb line of Truth by which we can measure our lives.
Psalm 119:104-105 “Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.”
When looking for answers in this world, the works of God are so quickly overlooked. Many cry out for peace in this world of chaos and think if they only elect the right leader, promote inclusion, or do enough good deeds, the world will be a better place. This world hopes for peace apart from God and yet all they will reap is destruction. Jeremiah knew this kind of people, a rebellious people seeking their own measure of goodness.
Jeremiah 8:11-13 “For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?
No! They were not at all ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
In the time of their punishment
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.”
The Lord is the only one capable of making lasting peace, a peace that not only the nations yearn for but a peace that people seek God for individually.
Psalm 119:14-16 “I rejoice in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts and regard Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”
What do your values declare?
When people see you, do they see Jesus in you?
The Word of God beckons us to return.
When we fall, God waits patiently for us to return. When we stray, He seeks us out and finds us. He does not give up on His people, no matter how weak they might be.
John 10:4 “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”
The way we know we have gone astray is by examining the Word. Whether we seek righteousness or repentance, the Word brings revelation.
Do you want to hear the voice of God? We must learn how to listen.
Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
As you learn how to hear God’s voice, your faith will grow and your ability to listen will improve with each encounter with Him.
Psalm 3:8 “Salvation belongs to the Lord, your blessing be upon your people.” Selah
Next time you see the word ‘Selah’, remember to ponder God’s truth and listen. The depth of the riches of God’s grace are manifold. If we find ourselves weary from this world, the life and joy of God’s Word brings encouragement and hope.
Ponder God’s goodness, hear of His faithfulness, and remember there is hope to come.