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.
In his comments on Psalm 20, Augustine jumps in immediately to assert that “the prophet speaks of Christ, under the form of wishing, foretelling things to come” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320457). He notes that the plea is to the Lord, that God would hear the prayers of His people. Augustine illustrates this by showing how the individual verses of the Psalm have parallels in other parts of Scripture, with recurring themes which show that we beg God for help in every setting. In verse four particularly, the Psalmist asks the Lord to give to his people what they need and desire, not according to the desires of the persecutors or opponents (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320464). The result, in verse five, is that God’s people will be glad. Augustine is clear that the culmination of the Lord’s meeting his people’s needs (v. 6) is the hope of the resurrection. Jesus, the risen Lord, hears “not from earth only . . . but from heaven also” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320470). The security of the Christian, then, is not only earthly but also heavenly. Verse eight shows the distinction between the Lord’s people and those who would oppose them. The opponents, Augustine explains, were “bound by the lust of temporal things, fearing to spare the Lord, lest they should lose their place by ‘the Romans’ and rushing violently on the stone of offence and rock of stumbling, theyf ell from the heavenly hope” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320482). Those who are in Christ have hope, but those who are not have departed from hope. Verse 10, says Augustine, also speaks of Christ, asking the Lord to save the king, who Augustine says to be the Christ, the one in whom we can truly hope (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320488).