Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Col, 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.
Commenting on the subscription of Psalm 5, Augustine notes a title, “For her who receiveth the inheritance” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318776), which leads him to conclude the Psalm is for the church, inheriting eternal life. God is the one we inherit, and we are inherited by God.
As God’s people, the Church calls out to God inverse one. And the call to God is that He wold listen to our cry (v. 2) (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318784). Because the Psalm addresses the Lord as “my King and my God” (v. 2) Augustine observes the term “king” is used of God the Son, while the term “god” is used for God the Father. He then affirms that the Trinity is not three gods but just one God (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318792).
Psalm 5:3 goes on to describe the confidence we can have in prayer. Despite all “the storms of this world, he perceives that he does not see what he desires, and yet does not cease to hope” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318800). Augustine is convinced that the hope of the Christian is based on persistently looking to God as the one in whom we rest. It is this pure heart of trust in God which God desires. Augustine recognizes in vv. 4-6 that God’s displeasure is based on iniquity, which he seems to find in our haughty attitudes (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318816). The darkness of our minds is overcome by God’s light and truth. On the ohter hand, for those who hate God’s truth, God has prepared hatred and destruction. In this context, Augustine speaks of truthfulness. Concealing the truth for a greater good may at times be appropriate. Augstine cites the midwives of Exodys, who told falsehoods to serve the greater good of preserving life (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318831). The truth of God must be protected, including that which protects others. Godns censure is upon the violent (v. 6).
In light of the power of God, the Psalmist describes the approach to God’s house (vv. 7-8). Augustine notes this is, by nature, not done in complete confidence. God’s people should have a reverence for Him. However, as they arrive on the scene, they acknowledge God’s love and find relief from fear (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318864). In that confidence, we can be led by God in his justice. This is the way God leads people in righteousness (v. 8).
Augustine notes again a sharp contrast between the righteous and the wicked, who are unreliable and bring death by their words. The language of an open sepulchre suggests to Augustine that those who deceive may well have an insatiable hunger for deception (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318888). In verse 10 we find that God will have to judge the people. They need to receive the penalty they have earned (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318896). This is clear in that they are driven out because of their many ungodly actions. The evil is rightly expelled.
In a contrast again, verses 11-12 describe the blessedness of trusting in the Lord. There is refuge and hope, bread of life even, in trusting God (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318912). Augustine is clear that the blessing of trusting the Lord is also a gift of grace, referring primarily to Romans but also other passages of Scripture.
In conclusion, Augustine finds the whole Psalm as a prayer of trust in God (Augustine Psalms, loc. 318928).