This psalm by an unidentified writer begins with a brief petition, asking God to be merciful, bless the people, and shine His face upon them. The psalmist then incentivizes God, speaking of how His care for us will make His ways known on the earth, and declare His salvation to the nations.
3 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
4 Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!
For You shall judge the people righteously,
And govern the nations on earth.
The writer then declares that when the people praise the Lord that the earth will yield increase, and God will bless, and all the earth shall fear Him.
The three parts of this psalm frame its purpose: petition, praise, expectation. The writer begins by asking God for blessing, then moves on to praise God and discuss how His blessings spread His praise to everyone. Finally, the psalmist muses on how the blessings come as a result of praise. The psalmist was keenly aware of the ways of God, and had a right expectation of God’s response. Follow this example when you pray: ask, praise, and believe!