There’s a word that is repeated in many of the Psalms. Selah. It’s used to break the tone and rhythm of a Psalm. We don’t know quite what it means, but many bible and Hebrew Scholars believe that Selah means “to pause and reflect.” The best way I can describe it would be like a break from singing for the musicians to play in a song (and since many of the Psalms were set to music of an orchestra, or musicians, this is quite appropriate). This word, Selah is important. When I read through a Psalm and it comes up, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and reflect on what I have read. In many respects, it’s “rest.” Throughout our week, many usually designate a day or two for rest, but what we really do with it is to fill our time with stuff to do. Not that the activities we choose are bad, per se, but it’s definitely not rest. Consider Selah and the biblical definition of rest together. Selah, to pause and reflect on Scripture, and rest, to pause and reflect on and with God. Many of us are striving to find peace in our lives, but is it a wonder we don’t find it when our “rest” time is filled with activity? What if we stopped and thought about Selah during those periods of rest, and took the time to pause and reflect on God’s goodness, His love, His mercy, and sat and rested in His presence? How much more peace would reign in our lives? What if we took this concept of Selah even further? The beginning of the day, what if we took some time, as Jesus did, to go to a quiet place and pray and read God’s word before the chaos of the day began? And what would it look like if, at the end of the day, when work was done, we took a moment to pause and reflect on what God has done? What if Selah and rest was a perpetual cycle between work and play that we used to seek God by ourselves and with our families, and with others? How would your life look then? Would you find the peace you’re looking for? Consider all of this, and pause and reflect.
Psalm 127:1-2 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 37:1-7 Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”