The Lord delivers; you show favor to your people (Selah) (v. 8, ESV).
This is the first of the Psalms that has the word “Selah.” Scholars debate whether the word means “to lift up” or “to be silent.”
David wrote this Psalm while he was running for his life because his son Absalom had stolen his throne. This Psalm begins abruptly with a short and very exclamatory, “Lord!”
The way the word is positioned in the context of this Psalm … think, “Help, Lord!”
David was fleeing, and he didn’t have time for a long prayer. How many times have we needed an emergency prayer and all that we could say was, “Help, God!”?
Things were so bad with David that his popularity in Israel had shrunk to the point where many were saying, “God will not deliver him” (v. 2). How many times have we been written off, told that our ideas wouldn’t work, or that everyone was against us?
Psalm 8 has a simple solution in the word “Selah” – lift up the Lord and remain silent.
One commentator writes …
Why had God permitted this dangerous and disgraceful uprising of Absalom? It was part of David’s chastening because of his sins of adultery and murder (2 Samuel 12:1-12). God in His grace forgave David, but God in His government allowed David to reap the bitter consequences of those sins.
Often the problems we face result from our bad decisions. Yes, we are forgiven, but there are still bankruptcies, broken relationships, health issues, and stress.
Again, Psalm 8 has a simple solution, “Selah!”
Despite his sin and his trials with Absalom, David had learned the “Selah” lesson …
To the Lord I cried out, and he answered me from his holy hill (Selah). I rested and slept; I awoke, for the Lord protects me (vv. 4-5).
There is no greater testimony to the power of Selah than David’s ability to get a good night’s rest while fleeing. There is another key to developing the spiritual discipline of Selah in Psalm 8.
But you, Lord, are a shield that protects me; you are my glory and the one who restores me (v. 3).
David didn’t dwell in self-pity because of his circumstances, and while knowing his sin, he realized that God still loved him and would protect him. And because of David’s confidence in the Lord, he could write …
I am not afraid of the multitude of people who attack me from all directions. Rise up, Lord! Deliver me, my God (vv. 6-7).
God loves us and is working all things together for good. Continue to lift up your prayers and wait with expectation.
“Amen,” or we should say, “Selah!”