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: "Samech"
Psalm 119:113 makes an unusual division, which Augustine notes. The Psalmist hated the unrighteous and loved God's law. Augustine understands this "to show, that he did not hate human nature in unrighteous men, but their unrighteousness where by they are foes to the law, which he loveth" (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339659, par. 112). Verse 114 identifies God as the helper of the Psalmsit. Verse 115 then seeks to drive away the wicked so as to afford opportunity to "search the commandments" (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339664, par. 114). Augustine observes that wicked people, even when they are not particularly trying to persecute, regardless take us from study and contemplation on God's word (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339668, par. 114). Verse 116 begs God to establish the Psalmist on God's word. This, according to verse 117, is a place of safety.
Has God rescued all people? Verse 118 says that God brings to nought all who depart from him (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339680, par. 116). Augustine notes that the next concept, of verse 119, has several different interpretations and is even translated differently in several versions. When it says, "I have counted all the ungodly of the earth as transgressors" (v. 119, Augustine Psalms, loc. 339684, par. 117), the word for "counted" is varied in many ways. Augustine takes the passage to suggest that God's assessment of sin and righteousness is based on his law, which makes clear indications of God's attitude. God's law also serves to plant righteousness in his people (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339697, par. 117).
In verse 120 the Psalmist asks very plainly for divine rescue. "Fix with nails my flesh in thy fear" (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339705, par. 118). Augustine considers the fear of God which motivates this statement not to be so much a carnal dread but a chaste concern which drives us to the safety given in God. Love of God moves us to fear sinning, thus to turn to God.