For the past few months, I have been spending times in the Book of Psalms. Life had become a bit hectic, up before dawn, long days at work with ever present demands for deadlines and productivity, then home to enjoy a few minutes with my husband over dinner before bed and a repeat. I was tired and felt half-full. During my morning quiet time, I asked the LORD where I should focus my Bible Study efforts and meditations in a way to bring peace and balance to my daily routine. Having recently completed a chronological study of the Old Testament, I really didn't know where in Scripture God wanted me to focus my attention next. After a quiet whisper of the Holy Spirit, I began the process of reading and meditating on a Psalm a day. It seemed like a good place to rest and allow Him to teach me.
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper... Psalm 1 NKJV
That was February 10th, 2020. Each day as I read through the Psalms I identified a few of the verses I found particularly encouraging. I would create a post on my social media accounts that included a beautiful nature scene while hoping one or two of my followers might find the same verses uplifting as they opened their feed. Little did I know that over the next few months our way of life would change so dramatically.
The university where two of our sons attend, closed their campus after Spring Break. Our sons came home prepared to complete their semester classes on line. One hasty Sunday afternoon, our family traveled to the campus to quickly move our freshman out of the dorm before access was denied. It was an eerie feeling being on a college campus being on a once very active campus with only a handful of people walking their dog or jogging. Life as we had anticipated was quickly changing. In the LORD's infinite wisdom, He knew I would need the wisdom of the Psalms to quiet my spirit during this time of change.
[A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son.]
Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, "There is no help for him in God." Selah But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O Lord; Save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah Psalm 3 NKJV I first encountered the term Selah in Psalm 3, as above. Selah, also spelled לה, appears frequently throughout the Palms, but can also be found in the Book of Habakkuk. Strongs Numbers defines Selah (05542) as meaning "to lift up, exalt, a technical musical term probably showing accentuation, pause, interruption."
That was a exactly what we were experiencing...Life has been interrupted, our plans set to "pause." The rest of the definition seemed to tell me what I needed to do: lift up and exalt. During the midst of David's cry for help, he would stop for Selah. He didn't stop to whine, complain or worry. He stopped to praise the LORD, to exalt, lift up and make much of the Almighty, King of the Universe whom David knew could change any circumstance.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, Who seek Your face. Selah Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah Psalm 24:5-10 NKJV
What does Selah look like? I think it looks like our lives over the past few months. While our routines have been interrupted, we have praised the Creator for provision. This pause in our normal way of life has helped us appreciate each day and God's provision for that day. One day we were able to purchase a meat box from a local restaurant. Another day we purchased homemade bread, butter, cheese and lunch meat from a favorite sandwich store. Toilet paper came from an office supply company. Before March of this year, can you honestly remember a day when you were grateful for the ability to buy toilet paper?
Our family cooked together in the kitchen, ate meals, played board games and studies God's word like we did when they were little. I exalt the Creator for giving me this unique, extended time with my sons. I praise Him for allowing us to share in the experience of Elohim's faithfulness, provision and presence. When life gets interrupted, pray for the ability to praise Adonai for His faithfulness, exalt His holy name. Selah.
Great and mighty Yehovah, You are from everlasting to everlasting. Your faithfulness never ends and Your mercy is full of lovingkindness. No good thing do You withhold from those who walk in righteousness. We exalt Your holy name, Hashem. We speak of Your compassion and teach our children of Your omnipotence. Thank you for providing for all of our needs and so many of our "wants." May our children learn to walk in Your ways according to Your statutes so the world will know that You are King, our Savior and Counselor that will never forsake us. Amen.