The expression in this Psalm of God being “the Lord of hosts” that is the leader of hosts of soldiers, seen and unseen, is a familiar theme throughout the Old Testament.
This particular Psalm has assured countless numbers of people during times of unrest and particularly times of political upheaval and warfare.
I particularly like the closing verse because of its reminder that sometimes the best thing we can do is just stop what were doing. Somebody pointed out that in the creation story, we find God at work making all kinds of wonderful things which have blessed our life – but that we must not lose sight of the fact that the last thing he invented was the concept of “stop”... Just stop.
How often in our life when things are going bad domestically, or in our communities, or nations or internationally, if we would just stop what we’re doing, things would improve immediately.
When I was taking my flying lessons, I found it a little unnerving when I was told that if the plane ever went into a spin, and headed for the ground out of our control, the best thing that we could do is let go of the stick – that the plane was built to correct itself, and if we had enough altitude, it would eventually do it on its own – but that if we continued to fix it, we would likely lose our opportunity to survive. I find that a great metaphor for life – and I find that sentiment echoed in this Psalm – Just stop.
The other half of this of course is that God is at work not just in our lives but in the lives of other people around us, and that sometimes we need to give Him room to operate, and we can best do this when we just get out of the way.
The city of Jerusalem (Zion) is situated in a mountain range, and is perched on top of the mountain – hence the imagery in this Psalm – lots of earthquakes, and being situated on the narrow crossroads between several continents, they were always being attacked by somebody on their way through to attack somebody else.