“God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of His holiness. The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: He is greatly exalted.” Psalm 47:8-9 (KJV)
God not only reigns over the heathen; He also reigns over the hearts of all men, all the people of the earth. It may not appear to be so at times but He does.
The name of God given three times in the above verses is “Elohim” representing the whole of the Godhead – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the only one qualified, worthy and able to sit on the throne of His holiness.
These verses do seem to point to the time when the Messiah [Jesus Christ] comes, and reigns from His throne in Jerusalem. The “Princes” could be all those who have been redeemed through the ages, and are gathered together to do His bidding in all the earth.
The “Shields of the earth” are those given kingdom power and authority to carry out the word and will of God in the earth.
Even those in the earth in our world today who have been given authority to rule, have been given that authority by God; and this is what the apostle Paul says of that;
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.” Romans 13:1-6
If you will notice this authority has been given them for the “Good”, not to be a terror to the people. When the authorities rebel against the good laws of God, and bring terror on the people the people of God must stand up, and stand against the tyranny.
However, God still reigns, and is directing the course of this world; preparing for the day He rules and reigns righteousness in the earth.