"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Finding Our Strength Through Knowing Our God

Mt. Paran

"Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy." Winston Churchill

The Hebrew word Selah is used often in the Davidic Psalms but is found only in one other chapter of the entire Bible -  the third chapter of the book of Habakkuk. 

Three times in Habakkuk chapter 3, the prophet uses the word Selah (vs. 3, 9, 13).

Selah is typically given one of three definitions.
1. Selah can mean "to lift up" as in a musical crescendo, or in the raising of your head and voice. We get our English word "solo" from this word.
2. Selah can mean "to stop" and "to contemplate." The word is always at the end of a sentence in Scripture, so it seems to convey "what you just read is worthy of pause."
3. Selah, some scholars say, is like English people saying "Amen" or "that is true." 
I personally see the warrant for all three definitions and don't believe them to be exclusive of each other. Combining all three, Selah, therefore, is a Hebrew word that encourages a person to lift his eyes to the heavens and contemplate Divine truth.

Here are the three times Selah is used in Habakkuk.

"God comes from ... Mount Paran. Selah." (Habakkuk 3:3). 

"God's bow was made bare. The rods of chastisement were sworn. Selah." (Habakkuk 3:9)

"You crushed the head of the house of the evil to lay him open from thigh to neck. Selah." (Habakkuk 3:13)

Habakkuk was a prophet of Israel during some very difficult days. Nebuchadnezzar and his army of 'fierce and impetuous' soldiers from Babylon (Hab. 1:6) were marching toward Jerusalem to destroy the city, tear down the Temple, and take God's people captive. 

Habakkuk knew trials, pain, and the day of calamity (Hab. 3:16) were coming. God showed the prophet the Babylonians were coming to destroy Israel through oracles or visions He gave to Habakkuk (see Habakkuk 3:1-2).

Habakkuk uses Selah three times in his writings and all three cause us to pause and contemplate a truth about God. 

1. God's protects us (Habakkuk 3:3).

Paran is a mountain in the desert of Paran in the land of Edom. Israel had to pass by the land of the Edomites, their enemies, as they made their way to the Promised Land. In Moses last public speech to Israel, he to God's people that Yahweh "shone forth" and came from Mount Paran "with ten thousand holy ones" (Deut. 33:2). God resides in the land of one's enemies, and He "comes forth" to the aid of His people even when enemies approach us. Selah.

Habakkuk knew the Law. He'd read Deuteronomy. He knew God was coming for His people from Paran, and that God's good and loving purposes for His people would be fulfilled, even in the face of their enemies. Selah. 

2. God has a purpose for us (Habakkuk 3:9).

The book of Habakkuk opens with the prophet complaining to God about the state of God's people. The Jews had been cold toward the Lord, vicious toward each other (e.g., "violence in the streets of Jerusalem"), and apathetic towards God's Law.

God responded to the prophet (Habakkuk 1:5-6):
"Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days—You would not believe if you were told. I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous peoplewho sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own."
God was about to "disciple" (eg 'discipline) the people He loved.

In Scripture, the bow of God is the metaphor for chastisement.

"God's bow was made bare. The rods of chastisement were sworn. Selah." (Habakkuk 3:9)

God is more interested in our character than He is our comfort.

Therefore, every circumstance in life, even those negative things that happen to us, are designed by our loving, heavenly Father to produce in us the essence of His character.

We are to reflect Him in a dark world; and the Christian who lacks love, grace, the ability to forgive, and every other 'fruit of the Spirit' can rest assured that "He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion" (Philippians 1:6). 

3. God will provide every need for us (Habakkuk 3:13)

"You crushed the head of the house of the evil ... Selah." (Habakkuk 3:13)

I want all of us to pause and think about this Divine truth for a moment.
God will orchestrate and arrange every circumstance in my life - even those Babylon experiences that I don't want - to crush 'the evil' which seeks to destroy me. 
Our loving Father has a perfect way of taking 'self'' out of us and producing the 'fruits of the Spirit' in us. 

That's His job. 

He doesn't fail. 

Selah. 

20 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

the best Bible teacher I ever heard said it was best interpreted as "think it over". That seems to fit every time I've ever happened on the word.

Incidentally, he was an ordained Baptist Minister, teaching in a Presbyterian Church.

Christiane said...

"to reflect God in a dark world"

brings to mind Tolkien's words from 'The Return of the King':

"“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

(J.R.R. Tolkien)


In our choice between 'good' and 'evil', faced with 'the Darkness', it sometimes seems hard to maintain hope, but I think the prophets of the OT, including Habakkuk, speak of something beyond 'The Shadow' that, even though we may be put through trials to strengthen
us, we are still able to trust in the One who ultimately delivers us from evil . . . . we are not left alone in this darkness, no and we are not forsaken . . .


From Habakkuk chapter 2:
"2Then the LORD answered me:
Write down this vision and clearly inscribe it on tablets, so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the vision awaits an appointed time; it testifies of the end, and will not lie. . . . . .

And so Habakkuk, the prophet to whom God reveals a 'vision' of the future , not unlike Tolkien's character Samwise, that 'the Shadow is only a small and passing thing' and in the end we see the prophet's words, these:

Habakkuk 2:14 "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."

I love Tolkien's words: 'Light and high beauty' :)

The idea of staying strong is good. Perhaps also to TRUST and to HOPE and to live in the Peace of Christ during these harsh and bitter days where so many, stirred to fear, anger, and violence are willing to harm the innocent. And yet, we must speak out and stand up for the sake of those who are being persecuted . . . we must stand 'with' them openly.

RB Kuter said...

Great post and very timely given the fanaticism and frantic, chaotic atmosphere present in these days just prior to a national election. I think I need to read Habakkuk and the "Selah" promises to keep me focused on God's priorities that will keep me sane!

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

How about this for a “Selah”?

https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/jfk-witness-deaths-7-fbi-officials-due-to-testify-at-hsca/

In 1977, seven top FBI officials due to testify at HSCA died in a 6 month period, five from heart attacks, one from an accidental gunshot and one from an accidental fall. This subset of 7 convenient deaths from over 100 is powerful proof of a conspiracy beyond any doubt, since it is focused on a specific group within a very short time interval. The HSCA did not mention any of these deaths in its claim that the London Sunday Times actuary’s 100,000 trillion to one odds of 18 material witness deaths in three years was invalid.
The HSCA statistician testified that the actuary’s odds were invalid because the witness universe was unknown. But there were approximately 1100 witnesses called to testify in four investigations from 1964-78: Warren Commission (552), Garrison/Shaw (80), Church Senate Intelligence (150) and HSCA (360). Of the witnesses called, at least 63 died, 39 unnaturally, of which 28 were homicides.
The HSCA noted just 21 witness deaths. http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/jfkdeaths.htm
SEVEN TOP FBI OFFICIALS DUE TO TESTIFY AT HSCA
7706 LOUIS NICHOLS Former #3, responsible for JFK investigation; heart attack
7706 REGIS KENNEDY Oswald handler, confiscated home movies of assassination; heart attack
7708 JAMES CADIGAN Document expert; died from a fall in his home
7708 ALAN BELMONT Liaison to Warren Commission; natural causes
7710 J.M. ENGLISH Head of Forensic Sciences Laboratory; heart attack
7710 DONALD KAYLOR Fingerprint chemist; tied to bogus Oswald “print” on rifle; heart attack
7711 WILLIAM SULLIVAN Headed Division 5 (Counter-espionage/ intelligence); Gunshot accident

Rex Ray said...

P.S.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/cia-targeted-assassinations-by-induced-heart-attack-and-cancer/5326382

“The CIA developed a poison that caused the victim to have an immediate heart attack. This poison could be frozen into the shape of a dart and then fired at high speed from a pistol. The gun was capable of shooting the icy projectile with enough speed that the dart would go right through the clothes of the target and leave just a tiny red mark. Once in the body the poison would melt and be absorbed into the blood and cause a heart attack! The poison was developed to be undetectable by modern autopsy procedures.”
Since cancer can be given to animals, the same can be given to humans.”

Christiane said...

Hey there, Rex Ray

I looked up your link and I think you might have been using a resource that is connected to the Russian propaganda machine . . . don't worry, a LOT of Americans have fallen victim to them in the past few years

take a look at this info from Wiki:

"Globalresearch - RationalWiki
https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Globalresearch
Oct 10, 2018 - Globalresearch appears to be largely a news clearinghouse, as very few of the stories ..... See the Wikipedia article on Michel Chossudovsky.
‎What it thinks it is · ‎Scope · ‎Noted sources · ‎Conspiracy theories
Michel Chossudovsky - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Chossudovsky
Michel Chossudovsky (born 1946) is a Canadian economist, author and conspiracy theorist. ... He is frequently quoted by or appears on both RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and the Kremlin-run Sputnik news agency. The Centre ... War and Globalisation: The Truth behind September 11, Global Research, 2003, ISBN ...
‎Biography · ‎Centre for Research on ... · ‎Works"

REX RAY, we ALL fall for the 'RT' channel stuff . . . it's Russia-based, so 'heads up' for the near future until we know more about how our country has been impacted by our old enemy in a new disguise . . . we are only vulnerable if we are unaware of the extent of their tentacles into our information systems

Watch out for that word: 'globalization' also as it has ties to anti-Semitism in some quarters

On that note, I will let you do some digging and see for yourself what you can turn up.
Have a great day!

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,
Thanks for the reply. How would you explain these deaths?
1. 11/63 Lea Harvey Oswald killed.
2. 11/63 Karlyn Kucinich TV host's daughter murdered after hearing plot to kill JFK.
3. 12/63 Jack Zangretti had foreknowledge of Ruby shooting Oswald. Died by gunshot.
4. 2/64 Eddy Benavides saw policeman Tippit shot. Died from gunshot.
5. 2/64 Betty McDonald former Ruby employee. Death by hanging.
6. 3/64 Hank Killam, husband of Ruby employee, had throat cut.
7. 4/64 Bill Hunter, a reporter, in Ruby's apartment. Shot by policeman.
8. 5/64 Gary Underhill CIA agent, claimed CIA involved. Gunshot death.
9. 5/64 Hugh Ward investigator on JFK’s murder, died in plane crash.
10. 5/64 Delesseps, New Orleans mayor, died in Ward's plane.
11. 8/64 Teresa Norton, Ruby employee, fatally shot.
12. 6/64 Guy Banister ex-FBI agent died of heart attack. Connected to Ferrier, CIA, Carlos Marcello, and Oswald.
13. 9/64 Jim Koethe, reporter, in Ruby's apartment died from a blow.
14. 10/64 Mary Pinchot, JFK mistress murdered. Her diary was taken by CIA.
15. 3/65 Tom Howard, Ruby's lawyer, died of heart attack while in Ruby's apartment.
16. 5/65 Maurice Gatlin, pilot for Guy Banister, died from a fall.
17. 8/65 Mona Saenz, interviewed Oswald. Killed by Dallas bus.
18. 9/65 Rose Charmaine knew of assassination in advance. Killed by hit and run.
19. 11/65 Dorothy Kilgallen, a columnist interviewed Ruby. She pledged to “break JFK case” but died from a drug overdose.
20. 11/65 Mrs. Earl Smith, friend to Dorothy Kilgallen died two days after Kilgallen died.
21. 12/65 William Whaley, taxi driver, drove Oswald to Oak Cliff. Died from collision.
22. 1966 Lynn Karen talked with Ruby before Oswald was shot. Gunshot victim.
23. 8/66 Lee Bowers witnessed man behind picket fence. Killed car wreck 3 months later.
24. 10/66 William Pitzer did JFK’s autopsy. Died from gunshot.
26. 11/66 James Worrell saw man run out back door of depository. Killed in motorcycle wreck.
26. 1/67 Jack Ruby died of lung cancer before testifying to Congress. Told family he was injected with cancer cells.
27. 2/67 Harold Russell saw man escape who killed Tippit. Killed by cop in barroom brawl.
28. 2/67 David Ferrie acquaintance of Oswald killed by blow.
29. 5/68. Robert Kennedy assassinated. Thane Cesar’ gun, matched bullets in Robert.
30. 1972 Hale Boggs’ plane could not be found in Alaska. Hoover withheld coordinates where his plane was.
31. 5/75 Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig; bullet grazed head, car forced him off road, car bomb exploded, died from gunshot.
32. John Roselli, a hit-man for mob, testified to Senate…to appear again, but found stabbed and in a metal drum.
33. 5/77 Lou Staples said he would break the assassination case wide open, but death by gunshot.
34. 2/14 James Tague died of cancer three months after his book, was published.

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY, more heads-up:
I wouldn't be too sure of complete honesty from Oliver Stone who was known to buddy up to Vladimir Putin, the arch-enemy of our American freedom. I can't give Stone much cred myself as he definitely had an agenda and leaned into it when he wrote his conspiracy stuff.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jun/13/oliver-stone-vladimir-putin-russian-people-never-been-better-off

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,
I haven’t mentioned Oliver Stone…don’t know much about him. I don’t understand the purpose of the link about Oliver Stone meeting with Putin.

I thought it was interesting when Stone wanted a movie camera to start, he said “Action…”, but nothing happened until Putin winked his eye. (Just a way of Putin showing Stone who was in charge.) (BTW, Google states Putin is the richest man in the world with $200 billion. “What profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”

Back on the home front, Judy’s favorite TV is “Outnumbered”. (Four women and one man.) They have a different man for each show. One woman is Democrat, one Independent, and two lean toward being Republican. They take equal turns with the man. They discuss the latest news.

Speaking of NEWS, I believe CNN and FOX are as different as night and day. I like Fox, Rush Limbaugh, and Hannity.

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,
I had thought some of your material concerning the JFK assassination might have come from Stone's writings, so sorry for that.

I like Fox News only for Shepard Smith. I think Rush and Hannity are very entertaining but I can't take either of them seriously.
Have you ever tuned in to Rachel Maddow? She's ten kinds of awesome . . . 9:00 week nights, MSNBC . . . Good chance you won't agree with her, but she knows how to connect the dots and her technique might interest an old conspiracy theory fan like you. You won't be bored. :)

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

https://marriedbiography.com/happy-lesbian-couple-susan-mikula-rachel-maddow-together-since-1999-still-not-hurry-get-married/

I won’t be watching Susan Mikula; a trick of the devil is to get us to laugh with ‘sinful people’. She must be really funny as she makes 7 million a year and net worth is 20 million.

(p.396) After Henry Marshall committed suicide by shooting himself with a rifle five times, Billie Sol Estes quoted Cliff Carter saying, “Wallace sure botch it up.” “LBJ as Vice President had to use his influence to get Texas authorities to cover up the murder.”

(p.398) “Billie Sol Estes stated that Cliff Carter told him that LBJ did not want the Mafia to participate in the assignation because he was afraid they would end up blackmailing him.”

Christine, in the murder of Robert Kennedy, do you think the President of the United States had the ‘power’ to have Sirhan hypnotize, provide lawyers to trick him into confessing, denied the jury to see the autopsy, denied the jury to compare the bullets in Kennedy with the bullets in five others; but had substitute bullets that looked the same.

Not in the trial was the tape recording of 13 shots while Sirhan’s gun held 8 bullets. Sirhan was in front of Kennedy but shots from behind left two powder burns in his back and in the back of his head. The only reason Sirhan is not dead, is California did away with the death penalty. Does anyone care that an innocent man has spent 50 years in prison?

Bob Cleveland said...

On topic: On the last day you live, the absolutely most important thing will be where you're going to go when you die. Or put another way, your relationship with Jesus.

And no one can come to God at all, other than via Jesus.

It seems to me that the only real comfort in life would necessarily be knowing God.

Rex Ray said...

Bob,

Good to hear from you. Is this on topic? Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach…deliverance to the captives…” (Luke 4:18 KJ)

If I’m preaching freedom for Sirhan, then I’m guilty. His parole board would have pardoned him long ago if he had said he was sorry, but his mind is blank that day because he was hypnotized.

Daniel Brown, a professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School interviewed Sirhan for 60 hours over a three-year period. Sirhan does not remember the assassination, but only being at a gun range and shooting at circular targets. Brown believes Sirhan was programmed to shoot by being hypnotized and was lured to the hotel by a young woman in a polka dot dress.

https://www.cnn.com/2012/04/28/justice/california-rfk-second-gun/index.html

Rhodes-Hughes was a television actress who worked as a volunteer fundraiser of Kennedy. She told CNN in 2012 that she saw Sirhan shooting from her left and heard gunshots from her right that were near Kennedy. The FBI interview her at her home, and she told them she heard 12 to 14 shots. Their report said she only heard 8. She told the FBI she would be glad to testify but they never called her.

At the time, Edgar Hoover was head of the FBI. It’s easy to see the FBI didn’t want the truth how the two brothers were murdered.

Bob Cleveland said...

"Finding Our Strength Through Knowing Our God"

The topic I was addressing.

Rex Ray said...

Bob,

I think we’re on the same page as my topic is on Scripture that Wade quoted: “…You crushed the head of the wicked and laid bare his bones from head to toe.” (Habakkuk 3:13 Living) I believe honoring LBJ is about as bad if Germany honored Hitler.

Rex Ray said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_F._Kennedy

“Robert aroused rabid animosity in some quarters, with J. Edgar Hoover's Deputy Clyde Tolson reported as saying, "I hope that someone shoots and kills the SOB."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Robert_F._Kennedy

“The fatal shot was behind Kennedy's right ear and had been fired at a distance of approximately one inch.”

“In 2007, it was revealed that forensic expert Philip Van Praag had analyzed a tape recording of the shooting and found that 13 shots were fired, even though Sirhan's gun held only eight rounds and had no opportunity to reload.”

wagfelt said...

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/44466 There were only 8 shots

Please stop the conspiracy talk. Remember Occam's Razor

Rex Ray said...

Wagfelt,

Long before the tape was released, an eyewitness told the FBI she heard 12 to 15 shots. The FBI report quoted her saying she heard 8. J. Edgar Hoover was still the head of the FBI.

Let’s forget the tape, and count the results of bullets.

Police photographs show 2 bullet holes in ceiling panels.

Sirhan was subdued after firing 2 shots, one hit Paul Schrade in the head. (Did not kill him) Another went through the edge of Kennedy’s jacket. His other 6 shots were fired with multiple men holding his gun hand against a table. (It would be impossible for him to twist his hand up and shoot into the ceiling.)

2 bullets were in Kennedys back and 1 bullet in back of his head. That’s a total of 13 bullets.

Rex Ray said...

Wagfelt,
This link states:
http://garyrevel.com/news/nina.html

1.Nina Hughes heard 12 to 14 shots.

2.Frank Mankiewicz probably about 10 shots.

3.Estelyn Duffy LaHive at least 10 shots.

4.Booker Griffin heard 2 quick shots and then 10 or 12 more.

Lex Rex said...

So quote from Churchill is about God doing what?

Incidentally, new archival materials made public recently are telling us about a cruel and racist Churchill (assuming as Christians we are passionate about knowing and telling evidence-based truth). See link https://bit.ly/1GFvgFZ