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 takes Psalm 64 to speak specifically of the Lord’s sufferings, also to give great hope to martyrs and others facing trials (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328072). For this reason, Augustine says, we pray along with the Psalmist, asking for deliverance. Augustine is quick to remind us that earthly life or death is not a valid indication of God’s deliverance. Those who pray to God and then are killed are sill rescued from their enemies (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328081). There is therefore no need to fear our enemies.
Verse two speaks of God protecting David from poeple who gathered against him. Augustine sees this as a call to look to Christ, who was surrounded by enemies who couldn’t do more than kill his body (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328089).
In verse three, the weapon used by the enemies is a sharpened tongue. Augustine immediately observes that the Jewish leaders tried to persuade the whole world that Jesus was killed by the Romans, and that the Jews had nothing to do with it. They had only used their words (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328106).
In the vein of considering possibly misleading speech, Augustine refers to the apparent contradiction in the account of Jesus’ death. One evangelist says he was killed at the third hour, another at the sixth hour. Augustine argues that it is immaterial. He was condemned by the Jewish leaders about the third hour, which led to his death. He was raised on the cross about the sixth hour. Twisting the intent of the words can sow dissension, even when the two writers are not in conflict with one another (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328124).
Verse four speaks of the covert attacks made against the righteous - a bow rather than a sword (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328124). Augustine is clear that though Jesus knew all about his coming death, those who were plotting thought he was ignorant. They plotted against Jesus (v. 5), knowing that Jesus had not done wrong and that he had to be condemned unjustly (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328137). Verses five and six conclude that the plans needed to be made in secret. Despite all secrecy, though, Augustine asserts that God would know all of the plans. “See what befalleth an evil soul: it departeth from the light of truth, and because itself seeth not God, it thinketh that itself is not seen by God” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328150).
Augustine’s reaction to the plots against Jesus is that he would never have been involved if he were not truly a man. Therefore, he would not have dealt with our sin except by being a man (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328158). However, in Jesus’ work, verses seven and eight come to light. The attackers are like infants shooting arrows. They have weak tongues to attack him (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328167). All the attempts of unbelievers to stamp out God and His people have proven fruitless. As an example, Augustine notes that martyrs die and we remember their “nativities” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328176).
The recognition of God’s victory over evil makes men fear (v. 9). Augustine says “they that feared not, must rather be called cattle, rather beasts savage and cruel” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328184). God shows his might even when we would oppose him. Those who are just, even though confronted by God’s might, rejoice in the Lord (v. 10). Augustine asks, in light of God’s power, why anyone would question God so as to correct him (Augustine Psalms, loc. 328210). Rather, he calls us to be corrected by God.