For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to
the needy in his distress
The people of God, who are poor and needy, both in a literal and in a spiritual sense; and especially when under afflicted circumstances, in times of desertion, temptation, bodily affliction, and persecution from men, which may be here chiefly intended; to whom the Lord is a strength: he strengthens their hearts, and his own grace in them; he sheds abroad his love in their hearts, which makes their mountain to stand strong; he directs them to Christ, in whom is strength, as well as righteousness; he strengthens them by his Spirit, his promises, word, and ordinances. Christ may be more especially meant; and it may refer to the strength and power he will give to his people in the latter day; when a small one shall be a strong nation; when the feeble shall be as David, and the house of David as the angel of the Lord; when they shall have got the victory over the beast, his mark and image, ( Isaiah 60:21 ) ( Zechariah 12:8 ) ( Revelation 15:2 ) : a refuge from the storm;
or tempestuous rain, or overflowing flood; as Christ is a refuge from the tempest and storm of divine wrath and vengeance, by his satisfaction and righteousness, ( Isaiah 32:2 ) so from the flood of persecution, by his power and providence, ( Revelation 12:15 ) : a shadow from the heat;
which gives refreshment and rest, and is a protection from the scorching beams of the sun. Christ, as he is the shadow from the heat of a fiery law, from the flaming sword of justice, from the wrath of God, and the fiery darts of Satan's temptations; so from the violence of persecution, which heat shall now be no more, antichrist being destroyed, ( Revelation 7:15 Revelation 7:16 ) : when blast of the terrible ones [is] as a storm [against] the wall;
these terrible ones are either Satan and his principalities, who are very terrible to the Lord's people; and whose temptations are like a strong wind, which beat against them as against a wall, but they stand, the Lord being their strength, refuge, and shadow; see ( Isaiah 49:24 ) or rather antichrist and his persecuting princes, the kings of the earth, that have joined him, and persecuted the saints, and have been terrible to them; and whose persecutions have been like a blustering strong wind, threatening to carry all before them; but the Lord has been their protection, and made them to stand as a wall, firm and immovable, against them. The Targum is,
``so the words of the wicked are to the righteous, as a storm that dasheth against a wall.''