Distress and help
This passage is broken up into two parts. The first part talks about the current state of the land. People are fearful of earthly kingdoms, chaos is rampant, death and plundering common during those times. Thus it makes sense that people are in distress.
4 Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts;
like a swarm of locusts men pounce on it.
8 The highways are deserted,
no travelers are on the roads.
The treaty is broken,
its witnesses [b] are despised,
no one is respected.
But despite man being in distress, God is still God. God is still just, holy, and omnipotent. He has not forgotten the righteous.
10 “Now will I arise,” says the LORD.
“Now will I be exalted;
now will I be lifted up.
13 You who are far away, hear what I have done;
you who are near, acknowledge my power!
God knows everything thats going on. And because He is perfect and just, those unrepentant people will be punished, and God’s people will be delivered.
18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror:
“Where is that chief officer?
Where is the one who took the revenue?
Where is the officer in charge of the towers?”
19 You will see those arrogant people no more,
those people of an obscure speech,
with their strange, incomprehensible tongue.
Also God promises to take care of the righteous.
15 He who walks righteously
and speaks what is right,
who rejects gain from extortion
and keeps his hand from accepting bribes,
who stops his ears against plots of murder
and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil-
16 this is the man who will dwell on the heights,
whose refuge will be the mountain fortress.
His bread will be supplied,
and water will not fail him.
17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty
and view a land that stretches afar.