The psalm does not mention who wrote it or when it was composed. The first verse is possibly a response to the priestly benediction found in Numbers 6:24-25, which promised God’s blessing on his people (v. 1). Further, the contents of the psalm are based on God’s promise to Abraham about his seed being a blessing to the world (v. 2).
It is clear from the psalm that the reason why they wanted God to bless them was that, through them, his blessing would extend to all the nations (v. 2). This is a reference to the promise given to Israel that the Messiah would be born in one of their families – so this psalm is all about Jesus. The outcome of his arrival would be joy all over the world because he would become the universal King (vv. 3-4), which we know took place after his ascension.
The psalm is also connected to the annual harvest of crops (v. 6). No doubt, God’s people were distressed that pagan nations praised idols for providing their temporal needs. These believers were upset that God was denied praise for his goodness and longed for the time when he would be praised by all nations (v. 5). Indeed his rich provision for humanity’s natural needs led God’s people to pray that he would soon provide them with spiritual benefits. They were confident he would do so, although they did not know when (v. 7).
No doubt, this psalm began to be fulfilled when Jesus sent out his apostles with the gospel to all the world. It is a portion of God’s Word which tells what is taking place in the world today. God has answered the prayers of his Old Testament people for the day when the Gentiles would come into his kingdom, and he is now gathering them to himself from every nation of the world. This psalm is a prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes, and we will see it happening by wearing the spectacles of the Bible.