Whenever I teach through a book of the Bible, I always say it’s my new favorite. So currently, Habakkuk is my favorite. It’s been an amazing look at how to respond when life doesn’t go as planned. It’s helped us choose to walk by faith, not by sight. We close out the book this weekend, and I’m so excited for the conclusion – it’s my favorite part of the book!
Chapter 3 is a song, written by Habakkuk himself, as he reflects on the majesty and glory of God’s works in the past. 3 times in the song, he uses the word “Selah.” It’s a word most commonly found in Psalms (used 71 times), giving those who are playing and singing the song a cue to pause and soak in the lyrics.
Selah isn’t only important for the progression of a song though; it’s important for the progression of our souls.
The three uses in Habakkuk illustrate the importance of making time to Selah in our daily, often overly-busy schedule. It appeals to our flesh to work, but our spirit needs to wait.
He uses it in 3:3, after speaking about the region of Sinai, where God intervened for His people. It’s as if he’s saying “God did it before – why couldn’t He do it again?” Soak that in!
It’s used again in 3:9, after he mentions God’s “chariots of salvation” and the promise of coming discipline on the nation of Judah. It reminds us that even when the future is crazy and unknown, our God is the God of salvation!
The final use is in 3:13, after Habakkuk anticipates the defeat of Satan by the coming Messiah. I can’t think of any greater reasons to Selah than the bloody cross and the empty grave!
There are many things to reflect on when you Selah, but there are also many benefits to praising God for His majesty. Here are a few…
– It elevates God & humbles man, putting you and God back in the appropriate places.
– It increases our feelings of dependency on God.
– I enlarges our faith when we realize how big our God is.
– It gives urgency to prayer, worship, and repentance.
The important thing to remember is that we need to MAKE time daily to Selah. Chances are, you won’t find an extra hour of your day. And even if you do, there’s a war for your focus and attention. We need to MAKE time daily to rest in God’s presence.
We all have the same 24 hours each day. We make time for what is most important to us. Paul told Timothy, “Train yourself toward godliness…” (1 Tim 4:7). It will take work to follow God, continue to progress and mature in your faith, and resist the temptation to over-busy yourself with other things. It’s worth whatever price you have to pay!