That word shows up 71 times in the book of Psalms, but we don’t know for sure what it means. It appears to be some sort of musical instruction, and one theory suggests it indicates a lyrical pause in the psalm—an invitation to stop and reflect on what’s been said so far.
Kind of like the sunset after the Last Great Day.
After Pentecost this year, I wrote about “the gap”—that span of time in between God’s festivals that serves as an opportunity to get busy doing what God put us here to do. I think the span of time between the Last Great Day and next year’s Passover serves a similar function, but I think both those gaps offer a second invitation as well:
We just finished singing a stanza of God’s masterful plan. We’ve been reminded of the future that’s waiting for us and for the entire human race—and now, we pause. Before we launch into the next verse (a verse about what Christ did and how He made our future possible), we have an opportunity to reflect on everything we’ve just learned. After all the messages, all the conversations—everything you heard and saw in this most recent holy day season—what are you walking away with?
What have you gained? What do you see now that you didn’t see before? What things in your life are you determined to change or to strengthen, and how will you go about it?
If we just started singing again, we couldn’t answer those questions. But now we have this pause, this selah, to look inward and reevaluate where we are and where we’re going. And soon—very soon—it’ll be time to start singing the next stanza.
Until then, selah.
Until next time,