“Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord, Selah” vs. 32
The word “selah” occurs 71 times in the psalms, always at the end of a verse, and no one knows what it means! Oh, some scholars have made guesses. Many say it is some sort of a liturgical direction that was used in temple worship, perhaps signaling a pause, but no one really knows for sure. Undoubtedly, at one time, when the psalms were being used regularly in the temple liturgy, everyone knew, but through the years, divorced from its context, the word lost its meaning. Of course, selah isn’t the only word in the Hebrew bible whose meaning has been lost. It’s actually quite common for translators to have to guess at the meanings of words, especially when they are rarely used. That’s how it is with words, new ones are born while others become archaic–and that’s even the way it works with the way we express our faith. Sometimes beliefs we have grown up with become obsolete, and we’re hard-pressed to make the transition. What we were so certain of in our youth is called into question, and we may even begin to wonder if there are any eternal values. It’s one thing for technology to change but shouldn’t biblical truths stay the same forever? When those disconcerting questions fill our minds it’s good to remember that God doesn’t change. Definitions and theologies are continually evolving, they’re all human made, but the Divine Presence is immutable. God will be God forever!
Thought for the Day: What ideas have I discarded as I grew older?