2 Samuel 22:31
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
This chapter is almost identical word for word with the eighteenth psalm. We may regard this chapter, and the eighteenth Psalm, as a vocal Ebenezer; and in this way it is very touching to give heed to the testimonies of an aged saint of God as he thus erects his Ebenezer, and in the second and third verse pours forth the rapturous utterances of a grateful heart. Among the conclusions to which David had been drawn, is that which is presented to us in the simple but pregnant words of the text.
I. THE WORKS OF GOD REGARDED AS THE CREATOR. In this respect we hesitate not to affirm that the words of the Psalmist are fully applicable, and that "His way is perfect." Now, of course, in affirming that God's way as Creator is perfect, we must bear in mind that we are not in a position to see into the whole of this matter. Unquestionably, before we can utter this sentiment with our hearts we must have learned the lesson of faith. Our knowledge of creation is very limited. Our philosophers are still arguing as to the plurality or the non-plurality of worlds; they are still discussing such fundamental subjects as the antiquity of man and the origin of species; and with regard to our own world, it is a common proverb among us that nothing on earth is perfect. And yet the searches and the conclusions of modern science are only revealing, we hesitate not to affirm, greater wonders, and those wonders are increasingly exhibiting the perfection of God s laws. And thus, whether we take the eye or whether we take the hand, we have the meat striking evidences of design and of adaptation — evidences enough to lead us, if we are modest and candid and reverent, to this conclusion — that if we knew more, and if other organs of the body and if other elements of man's nature were as clearly opened up to us as have been the organ of the eye, and the member of the hand, we should be still more strikingly and irresistibly brought to the conclusion with regard even to the creation, "As for God, His way is perfect."
II. BUT THE DECLARATION OF OUR TEXT IS NOT LESS TRUE IN REFERENCE TO GOD AS THE GOD OF PROVIDENCE. In reference to His providential dealings, most unquestionably David's testimony was that God's way is perfect; and indeed this is the point in the psalm. Now consider this for a few moments in connection with the world. The aspect in which a man of faith and a man of this world regard all that is passing around them is as different as light can be from darkness. But "as for God, His way is perfect" in the Church. We do not see the bearing of the means upon the end. We do not, for instance, understand how it is that the tares and the wheat are permitted to grow together. We do not understand how it is that from the very beginning, from the very earliest years down to the days in which we live, whenever there has been the slightest activity or energy put forth on the part of God's people, when the Church has not been fast asleep, there have arisen grave and deadly heresies, and the Church of Christ is constantly witnessing it. In our own land, even in the lifetime of most of the persons to whom I am preaching, at the very time when everything seemed ready for the Church to advance on her great aggressive work against the heathenism that was around her, to rise to her position as the evangelist of distant nations, and to delve into the courts and alleys, and to go down into the cellars and to climb the garrets in our own heathen England; when the Church seemed ready to gird herself to this work, and faithful ministers were raised up, there has come some blight, of deadly heresy upon us, and we have been constrained to enter into controversy even with our own brethren, with men bearing the ministry of our own Church. All this is most mysterious; we do not understand it; we cannot justify the ways of God to man fully. All we can say is this, that the anticipation of faith which enables us to bear a testimony even now in the words of David, is, that when all is wound up we shall assuredly discern that in dealing with His Church, as the God of Providence, the way of God has been perfect.
III. LASTLY, HIS WAY IS PERFECT AS A WAY OF SALVATION. Here again faith must come in. We are surrounded by depths on every side. What is the mystery at the bottom of it all? Archbishop Whately has said, and said truly, that the entrance of moral evil into the world is very nearly the only difficulty in theology. If you and I could understand how it is that there can be moral evil, and, as its result, physical evil, in the world of a perfect God, and an Almighty God, we should be able to cut pretty nearly every knot; but we cannot understand it. We do not understand the ruin; we do not understand the entrance of sin. But let faith lay hold of this; nothing but faith can lay hold of it; reason cannot defend it, reason can only put her hand upon her mouth. God's salvation is provided, on the one hand, fully for the vindication of His own glory, while on the other hand He has adapted His salvation fully to the need of men. There is the fullest adaptation to the need of the sinner, and there is the most glorious illustration of the glory of God.
(Canon Miller, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.