May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
This is a fit refrain to the benediction of the High Priest in the name of the Lord (Numbers 6:24–25).
It begins with a cry for mercy.
Forgiveness of sin is always the first link in the chain of mercies experienced by us.
Mercy is a foundational attribute in our salvation
The best saints and the worst sinners may unite in this petition. It is addressed to the God of mercy, by those who feel their need of mercy, and it implies the death of all legal hopes or claims of merit.
Our blessings are but words, but when God blesses he enriches us indeed, for his blessings are gifts and deeds. But his blessing alone is not all his people crave; they desire a personal consciousness of his favor, and pray for a smile from his face. The three petitions include all that we need here or hereafter.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
Psalms, Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), 271.