Living Between the Selah – Psalm 3

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Psalm 3

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”


But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.


I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.


Life is filled with a rhythm of noise and silence…chaos and stillness.

Psalm 3 starts off on a difficult note, a note of oppression and opposition. The psalmist is being tormented. The jeers come in, not just against the psalmist, but against the ability of the Lord to deliver him. Between the jeers and protest and the plea of faith is “Selah”, the rest.

The music breaks for a moment of silence. The instruments are put down awaiting the moment for the song to start back again.

When the music starts the words of the song pick up again. Following a time of silence the psalmist gathers himself and cries out to the Lord and proves the naysayers wrong, “He answers me.”

This too is followed by another moment of silence. Instruments are set aside and we wait. We wait in silence to listen for what comes next. This period of silence doesn’t result in a defiant call on the Lord. This silence isn’t broken and it leads to rest. How does one sleep in the presence of their enemies? Sleep is the most vulnerable position a person can assume. One can only do so with the knowledge that the Lord hears and the Lord sustains. This kind of sleep only comes from the faith of knowing God has answered and He will arise and deliver because He is “my God.” May your blessings be upon your people leading to a final Selah…rest and the song ends in silence. All is well in the world again. The foes are once again uncountable only this time because they aren’t present to be counted. The mob has been silenced. The man of God has been vindicated. All is at rest as the people of God are swallowed up, no longer by accusation, but by blessing.

Where do you find yourself in the poem? In the difficult? In the silence? In the sleep? In the blessing? I believe we can all find ourselves in there somewhere and no matter where you find yourself Selah is coming.

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