August 21, 2022

Summer in the Psalms Psalm 71:1-8


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Message Outline

Psalm 71:1-8 (NIV)

1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;

  let me never be put to shame.

2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me;

  turn your ear to me and save me.

3 Be my rock of refuge,

  to which I can always go;

give the command to save me,

  for you are my rock and my fortress.

4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,

  from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel.

5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,

  my confidence since my youth.

6 From birth I have relied on you;

  you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.

  I will ever praise you.

7 I have become a sign to many;

  you are my strong refuge.

8 My mouth is filled with your praise,

  declaring your splendor all day long.


From walking with Adam and Eve through the garden of Eden, to traveling with the liberated Hebrew slaves in a pillar of cloud and fire, to slipping into flesh and eating, laughing, suffering, healing, weeping, and dying among us as part of humanity, the God of Scripture stoops and stoops and stoops and stoops.

At the heart of the gospel message is the story of a God who stoops to the point of death on a cross. Dignified or not, believable or not, ours is a God perpetually on bended knee, doing everything it takes to convince stubborn and petulant children that they are seen and loved. It is no more beneath God to speak to us using poetry, proverb, letters, and legend than it is for a mother to read storybooks to her daughter at bedtime. This is who God is. This is what God does.

–Rachel Held Evans

God is our refuge. When you think about a refuge, what comes to your mind?

v. 3 “Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go”

The Psalmist describes a relationship with God throughout the years. What should the relationship between a parent and child be like?

v. 6 “From birth I have relied on you”

How do we recognize God’s faithfulness in our own stories and in the stories of others?

v. 8 “I have become a sign to many”



In your time alone with God in scripture reflection, solitude, prayer and journaling, begin with a breath prayer like "Holy Spirit, come," or listen to a song from the playlist. This summer we are focusing on one Psalm per week. Consider using one or more of the practices to reflect on the Psalm.

  • Journaling: Write out the Psalm in your journal. Make notes in the margins to amplify or clarify words. Be creative with doodling, drawing, highlighting words or phrases, collaging with cut-out words or pictures. Take your journal with you wherever you go this summer. At the end of the summer you will have a journal full of your own reflections, thoughts and prayers!
  • Reading: Take time to slowly read aloud the Psalm. What words or phrases stand out to you? What questions do you have? What feelings arise in you? Which physical response seems appropriate: hands raised or open? head bowed or lifted? standing or seated?
  • Memorizing: Commit to memorizing one or more verses.
  • Praying: How does this Psalm inspire praise, confession, lament, gratitude, or guidance for yourself, others or the world?