Journal Ps 4-5 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!  You have given me relief when I was in distress.  Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!


O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?  How long will you love vain words and seek after lies?   SELAH


But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.  Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds and be silent.  SELAH


Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the LORD.” Ps 4:1-5


Observation: Try reading these verses out loud using the pauses and inflection due the writing.  I am finding it refreshing to my soul and a cause to think differently about how I relate to God in prayer.


Analysis:  A quick Googleation (“Goo-gal-la-shun”, noun) of the word “Selah” produces three definitions in play:


  1. A word occurring between verses/paragraphs in parts of the Hebrew bible, often in the Psalms, perhaps indicating a pause for contemplation (or soulful reflection);
  2. A Hebrew word of unknown meaning at the end of verses in the Psalms, perhaps a musical direction, but traditionally interpreted as a blessing meaning “forever.”
  3. An exclamation, precise meaning unknown, used to punctuate Psalm verses.


Maybe, like the word “Aloha”, it is all three depending on how and where it is used?


Selah: An effort, a signal (like in musical notation), to exclaim and contemplate something eternal.


If so, I am reading the first two paragraphs with an emphasis on exclaiming my call to God and pausing reflectively with serious effort; trying to intensely listen to the whisper of the Eternal God.


“Answer me when I call, O God…” can either be a shout or a whisper.  “You have given me relief when I was in distress…” is a statement of reminder—not only to God but to my own heart to remind my soul of His faithfulness.


The pattern is evident: My appeal; then my reminder to my heart; then my appeal again.  Psalms, a book to imitate for my attitude, prayer life, and more, says it this way over and over—especially telling myself, reminding myself vocally and forcefully of His Faithfulness.

Why should I study?  To show myself approved.  Approved at what?  Rightly handling the Word of Truth.  For what reason?  To grow in godliness and to be prepared to answer for the hope that is in me.


On a foundational level, studying should not only lead into pounding scriptural facts (memorization) in my noggin, it should also lead into savoring what God says.


If I read with intensity, out loud, being vocal in my prayer closet, then perhaps, only perhaps, the Holy Spirit with grant that savoring I pray for.


Prayer:  Lord, grant me the release to shout your Word!  To change the dynamics of my voice when I pray; to think and imagine how the Psalmist might have prayed out loud; to understand the cadence and dynamics of the Song that is in my soul and growing daily.

“I eat my fill from the abundance of your household, and your wisdom is like the depths of the sea, O Spirit of God.”

Bring revival