Selah, or interlude, is believed to be a musical term that instructs musicians to pause. It first appears in Psalm 3, when David, in his vulnerability cries out to the Lord.
“O Lord, I have so many enemies;
so many are against me.
2 So many are saying,
“God will never rescue him!” Selah
But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
4 I cried out to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy mountain. Selah
5 I lay down and slept,
yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
who surround me on every side.” (Psalm 3:1-6)
I love how the word orders the phrase throughout this chapter. As David lays out his worries and accusations from others, there’s a moment to pause. To hold space for what he shared. Maybe even to receive a word of truth from God, in that very moment. He continues on with a declaration of truth: God is a shield of protection.
Where can you pause, selah, with the Father today?
Like David, we are always in need of God our savior and redeemer. We need immediate, fresh, words from His mouth to sustain us. And often, we are renewed with the audible confession of these words. Selah reminds us to stop and listen for God. It allows us to create a moment of connection. From these pauses, we are sustained by God’s goodness and mercy.