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.
Augustine plunges directly into his comments on Psalm 19, pointing out that it is not the message from Jesus but a message about him (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320390). He finds the evangelists as the heavenly voices proclaiming God’s glory in Christ, and the testimony of earthly voices sayingthat God’s power takes away fear. The word spoken in verse two is likewise God’s word of peace (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320397). Likewise, in verses 3-4 God’s Word has gone out to all nations and in all languages.
At the end of verse four, Augustine finds a metaphor of Christ first preparing for battle against evil, then coming as a groom to a bride, a uniting of natures as we see in the Incarnation, when the divine and human natures are united (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320403). The true God was able to command all heaven and earth.
Verse seven shifts the perspective yet again. Augustine sees God’s Law as that which converts people, and which is all embodied in Christ. He is the law, the testimonies, etc (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320412). Augustine emphasizes that the reception of Christ is a matter of rejoicing, not of slavish obedience, but of receiving light and love (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320418). This joy exists, at least in part, because Jesus did what He taught, then urged his followers to imitate Him. In verse ten, God’s judgments, which are good, are also precious. They are a great reward to be pursued (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320424). The reward is, moreover, intrinsic, gained by following after God’s promises, rather than as a result of successful pursuit.
Verse 12 turns to a conclusion. Understanding of sins will close our eyes in darkness. They are not to be pursued (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320436). Therefore, the Psalmist asks the Lord for preservation from sins. It is the secret sin, concealed within, that leads to a fall, which Augustine ties to our pride that would preserve the secret (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320447). Therefore, we pray that our words and meditations would be pleasing in God’s sight.