Israel and Judah had seen corrupt kings during their history as God’s people. The psalmist recognized that there would be a different King in the future. Prophets had spoken of a new kingdom that God would establish in Jerusalem—a throne that would last forever. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament referred to this psalm as he described the Son of God as being greater than the angels. After the new kingdom would be established, the King’s bride would be the church of Christ, the forever King.
“Be still and know that I am God…” Whether this psalm was written during the exile is unknown, but the principles included could have applied to that era. God, indeed was their refuge and strength and help in times of trouble. However, since they had rejected Him, He had rejected them at that time. Those living in Babylonian captivity began to realize their need to trust Him for the flowing of His blessings. If they would return to Him, His strength could overpower the raging nations around them. The God of Jacob was their refuge.
With shouts of triumph and songs of praise, the people recognized the power and majesty of the Lord. If this psalm were sung during the exile, the people were looking forward to the great King of the earth subduing the nations and bringing them back to their homeland. The God of Abraham is supreme sitting on His throne and ruling over all nations. In a spiritual sense, Jews and Gentiles of all nations were brought together as one in the church hundreds of years later.
The psalmist continued his praise of the righteous Lord. Mount Zion has been highly significant for many centuries. Great kings saw God’s power and protection of his dwelling place in Jerusalem. In the beginning of the Christian age, the church saw its establishment in that great city. There is eternal guidance, refuge and safety with God.