“Save me, O God, by Your name, And vindicate me by Your strength. Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen up against me, And oppressors have sought after my life; They have not set God before them. Selah” Psalm 54:1-3 (NKJV)
As this year rapidly approaches 12-31-20 11:59 pm, there are gonna be many of us who won’t wanna reflect back on 2020. In all actuality, who can blame us? Things haven’t been seen in terms of black and white, on the contrary, it’s been seen in terms of red, white, blue, light chrome green, wisteria, van dyke brown, burnt sienna, atomic tangerine, and purple pizzazz. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that there a vast number of colors to choose from. The ultimate crayon collection comes from Crayola, with 152, for example. We can throw a lot of shade with that box.
As a matter of fact, my wife decided to paint our front door French’s Mustard Yellow. Yes, it does stand out but it hasn’t taken over and I can find it a lot faster than I used to (don’t ask). But some colors are really difficult to look at. Like if she decided to paint the front door purple pizzazz, I think it would sprain my eyes. Now maybe I’m being overly reactive to a difficult color but it’s not any different than if, let’s say, I was overly reactive with a person whose personality reflected that of purple pizzazz. Go ahead, say, “HUH?” I guess I’ve just said, in a colorful way, is that people can be difficult and our reaction to them can be overly reactive. It’s as if we don’t give the moment the benefit of Selah.
Selah is a word that scholars call a transliteration and is mentioned about 71 times in the Psalms and even though I’m personally unsure of its meaning, from a musical standpoint, I see it as a rest. That moment in a musical composition where we let it sink in before someone rattles off a resounding 1-2-3-4 before A, C, D, C takes back over. So, when I see Selah at the end of David’s thought, I take a moment and let what he just got done expressing sink into me. For example, Psalm 54 1-3 has that Selah at the end of the passage and I wonder why David feels so betrayed. Answer…difficult people.
Let’s look at something in 1 Samuel 23:14-26…
“Then the Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is David not hiding with us in strongholds in the woods, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon?’” (1 Samuel 23:19)
It was bad enough the relationship that David had with King Saul went south, but Saul has been hunting David down to pretty much kill him. The place where David and about 600 of his army have hunkered down has been given up by Ziphite spies and now Saul’s men and the Ziphite army have David surrounded in the wilderness of Ziph. Instead of giving in the temptation of taking to battle so he could possibly escape, David, along with Jonathan, will Selah and lift a request to YHVH. Chuck Swindoll says this about this moment, “What we discover immediately is that David gives us a perfect example of what to do when we find ourselves under attack by people. Pray First! Don’t wait! Ask for His strength and stability! Normally, we pray last, don’t we?”
Ya know, it’s unfortunate that, in the midst of the zaniness this year has brought upon us, it seems we haven’t Selah enough. We haven’t taken that moment to just pause and ask the One who can provide a way of escape. For David, it looked like this…
“But a messenger came to Saul, saying, “Hasten and come, for the Philistines have invaded the land!” Therefore Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines; so they called that place the Rock of Escape.” (1 Samuel 23:27-2)
This is how our God in heaven works when we Selah and give it over to Him. After all,
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. SELAH!!” (Psalm 46:1-3)
Ultimately, all the crayon’s in the box do work together in unity to create a picture, but there’s always a few that are difficult to handle, that’s why it’s a good idea to fall back and take a moment to see their part in the picture. Those difficult people that are around us have their part as well and I believe God uses them so that He can show Himself strong in our moments of weakness while under attack. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine, and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org