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.
The sin of man is only fully seen in contrast with God's righteousness and love. The light is needed to bring out the depth of the shadow. It reveals the "spot."
I. GOD'S FAVOR TO ISRAEL. God's dealings with Israel had been marked by:
1. Rectitude (ver. 4). He had done everything that was just and right to them. His ways had been equal. He had given them just statutes. His covenant-keeping faithfulness had been signally manifested. There was not the shadow of a pretence for accusing God of injustice or of infidelity to his engagements.
2. Love. Love and grace had been more conspicuous in his treatment of them than even justice. It was shown in their election, in the deliverance from Egypt, in the guidance of the desert, in pardon of offences, in the many and undeserved favors which had been heaped upon them (cf. vers. 9-14). Rectitude and love have reached their fullest manifestation in the gospel. The cross displays both. It harmonizes their apparently conflicting claims, and exhibits them in new glories. God's character, revealed in Christ, is the condemnation of an unbelieving world.
II. ISRAEL'S REQUITAL OF GOD'S KINDNESS. (Vers. 5, 6.) Their requital was an incredibly base one. They corrupted themselves. They wantonly departed from the ways of right. They behaved ungratefully. Instead of imitating God in the example of rectitude he had set them, and walking before him "as dear children," they flung to the winds the remembrance of his mercies, and brought disgrace upon his Name. He was their Father (ver. 6), but instead of reflecting the features of his image, they dishonored and discredited it (cf. Isaiah 1:2-4, which appears to be based on this passage). Their sin was:
1. Self-caused. There was nothing which they had seen in their God to cause it, to account for it, or to excuse it.
2. Irrational. Their powers, given by God, ought willingly to have been devoted in his service. Obedience is the normal condition. Heaven and earth, undeviatingly obeying the law of their existence, condemn man's apostasy (ver. 1). The very brute creation testifies against him (Isaiah 1:3).
3. Ungrateful. God had bought them for himself, had made a nation of them, and established them in Canaan. Yet, without compunction, they cast off his yoke.
4. Foolish; for the way they chose was the way of death, whereas in God's favor was life (ver. 47), with every blessing that heart could wish for. The same remarks apply to sinners - despising the gracious overtures which God makes to them, with all the favors, temporal and spiritual, he has actually shown them, and careering on to their eternal ruin. "O foolish people and unwise!" - J.O.
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.