by DanWolgemuth on July 2, 2021

              O LORD, how many are my foes!

                             Many are rising against me;

              many are saying of my soul,

                             “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah (Psalm 3:1–2)


Over seventy times in the book of Psalms the word is used. Selah.

While the precise meaning of the word remains unclear, most scholars believe it has a musical connection, much like a rest or an intentional pause.


I confess that during my many years of reading through the Psalms, I skip through, over or around this word. I avoid it, because I don’t fully comprehend the meaning or value.


Mysterious and avoidable. Unclear and ignored.


Rest. Pause. Wait. Reflect. Listen. Stop.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1–3)

God rested.

The Creator. The Almighty. The Awesome. The Magnificent. God.

Rested. Selah…


There’s work to be done. Tasks to check off. Email to read. Posts to write. Stores to visit. Groceries to buy.

And so our body, mind and soul grow fatigued.

Saturday oozes out and Monday oozes in, and before long, Sabbath is pushed aside. And Selah becomes just one more word I skip over to get to the next verse. An undiscovered mystery. An untapped source of strength.

Perhaps it’s Selah that births Shalom. What if rest makes peace possible?

Selah. A rest. An invitation to let the previous notes linger, while the anticipation and amplification of the tones that follow intensify.

And to further make the point, God framed this as a command… hand delivered to Moses:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8)

Rest as an act of worship. Sabbath, a gift we are given so that we can give it back. Holy. Sacramental. Indispensable.

Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27, NLT)

Free from legalistic constraint and liberated to serve our soul. Selah.


A joyful gift.

Restoration. Recovery. Before revival, rest.


A mystery to be embraced. A practice to be protected. Selah. No more skipping, avoiding, dismissing or ignoring.

Yes. Selah…

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