This ancient Hebrew verb, "Selah", appears 74 times in the Old Testament. It can be found multiple times in the book of Psalms and in Habakkuk 3:9, 13. If noticed, this verb is always strategically placed at the end of the verse where it is calling the reader to a deeper reflection of what has just been said. Often, the "Selah" will be followed by verses that show a radical transformation in the heart of the writer. (see Ps 3:1-4)
Many scholars have attempted to capture the essence of the meaning of this word, but its precise definition is a bit uncertain. I believe Charles H. Spurgeon in "The Treasury of David" defines it perfectly.
"Some think it simply a rest, a pause in the music; others say
it means, "Lift up the strain - sing more loudly - pitch the
tune upon a higher key - there is nobler matter to come,
therefore retune your harps." Harp-strings soon get out of
order and need to be screwed up again to their proper
tightness, and certainly our heartstrings are evermore getting
out of tune.
Let "Selah" teach us to pray.....
"O may my heart in tune be found
Like David's harp of solemn sound." "
Consequently, as you encounter a "Selah" in your reading, reflect and weigh what was just written, then take notice of the major heart-change that follows. Let us make it a habit to follow the lead of the Psalmists and pause. Intentional moments to connect with God, followed by a time of readjusting our dissonant hearts, are necessary for a healthy and transformed life.
A LITTLE EXTRA
Articles: Creating ‘Selah-Moments,
Book: READY, SET, REST by Alicia Chole
Podcast: Praying the Psalms A method of studying a Psalm