Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
“Psalm 119: "Resch"
Psalm 119:153 begs God, from a place of humiliation, for rescue. Augustine takes this to be the place and need of every Christian (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339899, par. 151). Verse 154 goes on to ask for God's vengeance. The ungodly deserve this vengeance because, unlike the Christians, they have not cared about God's righteousness (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339908, par. 153). Augustine takes a disregard for God's righteousness as something which leads to sickness and death.
The very desire to seek God is a result of God's mercy, as Augustine finds evidenced in verse 156 (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339912, par. 154). God's mercy, then, leads to blessing, as contrasted (v. 157) to the persecution of those who are hostile toward God. Augustine speaks of the many ways in which martyrs have influenced the church and the world (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339917, par. 155).
Verse 158 expresses sorrow and pining as a result of seeing the foolish. Augustine does not speculate what may be happening to the foolish, but they have neither kept God's covenant nor received persecution (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339925, par. 156).
The Psalmist here holds himself in contrast to the fools (v. 159). Again, he speaks of the marks of the Christian in terms of their enduring persecution (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339930, par. 157). Yet he does recognize that the Christian is the recipient of a reward, given through God's everlasting judgments (v. 160).