He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Seven times does this strong figure the Rock occur in the song. The metaphor is self-explanatory, the stability of rock being a fit emblem of the Divine immutability of purpose, and of God being faithful to His covenant and promises. This is the ruling and recurring idea of the song, coming in like a refrain, and giving unity to the whole. And how deeply did this image of God, the Rock, take hold upon the mind of Israel! Here it stands in the very forefront; the first word in the construction, to mark the importance we must assign to it. For, besides its native significance of impregnable strength and security, an additional depth of meaning was imparted to the emblem from Moses' own history and experience (Exodus 17:6; Exodus 33:21, 22). It gradually passes upwards from an objective to a subjective or experimental application, when not only the nature of the rock, but its various uses, afforded fresh and serviceable emblems. The Gospel to the Old Testament Church was not merely, "God is a rock, firm and faithful," but" He is the Rock, with all the precious associations and all the realised practical value added to the term, whether it were employed for a hiding place and protection or for shade — "the shadow of a great rock in a weary land" — or, most significantly of all, suggested by the smitten rock in Horeb, a source and guarantee of suitable and sufficient supply in case of dire necessity to the perishing. It is emphatically a covenant made, and speaks the language of redemption. The song proceeds to develop the applicability of the word in a three-fold direction, attaching it at once to God's work, His ways, and His character. "The Rock —
1. His work is perfect." It is not as artificer, but as architect, we are here to regard His work as perfect. He has a providential and redemptive plan, complete in all its details; having no need for after-thoughts, and not requiring reconstruction or amendment. In this respect "His work is perfect"; and when fully accomplished will justify and vindicate itself.
2. To understand the Divine plan or speak of it aright, we must wait till then. "For all His ways are judgment," nothing being subject to caprice or arbitrariness. His is an immutability of counsel, carried into execution by the goodwill He hath purposed in Himself. What a contrast to the feeble, vacillating, arbitrary ways of man!
3. But, above all, He Himself in His own character is the Rock. This confidence in the Divine nature itself; in Jehovah's absolute truth and equity; in His unerring rectitude and all-wise faithfulness — this is the supreme resting place. It is also set forth here as the high well-spring of all dutiful submission, of all loyal-hearted allegiance, and of all uncorruptness in religion and piety. In it the singer finds the strongest ground for rebuke, remonstrance, and reproach to the people.
(A. H. Drysdale, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
WEB: The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice: a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he.