Ask any expert piemaker and they will tell you: The secret to a great pie is in the crust. And the secret to a great crust is in the pre-baking. And the key to a prebaked pie crust? It’s in the pie beads. You know – those round, ceramic weights that pie makers use when baking a crust without its filling. They weigh down the dough and hold it in place so it doesn’t shrink or change shape. Those weights keep that crust firmly nestled in the plate. And then, once the crust is, well, crusty, it leaves a perfectly pretty shell that’s ready to be filled.
I read Psalm 46 the other morning. Verses 10 and 11 hit hard, and my eyes soon came to rest on the very last word of the psalm: Selah. It sat heavy on my spirit. Weighted, even. Like the Spirit of God put His selah-pie-beads right down into my unbaked crust.
Sit here. Bake on that for a while. Give Me space to work and fill you with My Spirit.
“Be still,” I wrote the words down on prayer journal paper. In Hebrew, the word is raphah which, in the specific context of Psalm 46:10, can be translated “leave off your own attempts.” It’s letting down your hands and releasing your grip.
Digging a little bit deeper into the language reveals that raphah is a causative verb which indicates it is causing an action or event to happen. Generally, a causative verb is followed by its direct object (a noun or pronoun) and a non-causative verb, which describes the resulting action the subject has caused.
I smile to myself as the next words from the verse make their way onto my page, knowing what was coming next.
“Be still and know that I am God.” The Hebrew for “and know”? It’s yada’ which also means “to recognize,” “be aware of,” and “understand.”
And so, if we go according to the language rules, it’s safe to say that the active knowing, recognizing, awareness, and understanding that God is God causes you to let down your hands, leave off your own attempts, and be still in His presence.
Do you feel the weight of the words? It’s a specific kind of relief that comes with laying beneath a weighted blanket or, in this case, some selah-pie-beads.
And as for that selah word? It’s one that’s only found in the psalms (with one Habakkuk-exception) and seems to have been used to mark a pause in the singing of the psalm, the singer falling silent while the instrumental music continued. It also means “to lift up” and “exalt.” But the proof is in the pudding, as they say (or, in this case, the pie). And the pie-beads thought that I had the moment I read that selah-word is suddenly Spirit-confirmed as I look at its root word. “To lift up,” the lexicon reads. And the next line? To weigh.
I take one last peek at the Strong’s Definition of the selah-root-word and take it literally: “to hang up.” I scribble the words onto paper and tape them up onto the first place I see – interestingly enough, a corner in my kitchen. It’s a visual, hung-up reminder to pause. To know that His grip matters more than mine. And that will, in turn, cause me to be still, to leave off my own attempts, and trust Him.
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