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: He"
Augustine observes that in Psalm 119:33 the Psalmist asks God to lay down a law. Augustine has a good question to ask of this verse. "Why doth this man still pray for a law to be laid down for him; which, if it had not been laid down for him, he could not have run the way of God's commandments in the breadth of his heart?" (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339131, par. 32). In keeping God's law there is blessing. Therefore, if God reveals more of his gracious direction, more blessing can be found.
Verse 34 peaks of searching out God's law and keeping it wholeheartedly. Augustine affirms that our proper response to understanding God's word is to love God without reserve (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339139, par. 34). Yet to do this requires God's power (v. 35). The path of God's will is to be sought out, but can only be followed by God's will.
Augustine recognizes that we fall away from the desire for God and into our own desires very easily. So verse 36 asks the Lord to incline the Psalmist toward God's word (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339148, par. 36). This rightly shows us how to love God and our neighbor. Verse 37 shows that our eyes look at vain things when they are not looking at God. Augustine takes vanity and truth here to serve as opposites (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339157, par. 37). For this reason, we need to avoid vanity if we wish to find the truth.
In the end, our desire is that God would place his word in us so we could act according to his desire (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339169, par. 39). God's word is the solid foundation which we need. Augustine reminds his readers of 1 John, where perfect love casts out fear. We need that confidence, for, in verse 39 we are reminded that we can easily see in ourselves cause for reproach (Augustine Psalms, loc. 339178, par. 40). Even if our neighbor doesn't know, we know our sin. So we desire God's commands (v. 40). We sek to grow in God's righteousness.