“‘Do not be unjust in judging — show neither partiality to the poor nor deference to the mighty, but with justice judge your neighbor. Do not go around spreading slander among your people, but also don’t stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake; I am Adonai.”-Leviticus 19:15-16
Verses 15 and 16 deal with properly meting out justice.
Remember that God is teaching Israel to imitate Him.
He is teaching Israel to be HOLY because He is HOLY.
And one way he is doing that is by demonstrating through His Commands what HOLY behavior looks like.
We are told that no special favoritism is to be shown to the poor nor special treatment be given to the rich.
This command might not mean what we think it means.
While in some countries, the rich are treated in an advantageous manner over the poor, in America we tend to do the opposite.
In our criminal justice system, we have instituted the theory of societal and communal guilt.
What this basically means is that when a criminal commits a crime, the overall society is more at fault than the actual person who committed the crime.
And in most cases, the basis of that societal fault is the low socio-economic status of the lawbreaker.
It’s argued that if the criminal hadn’t been in poverty, illiterate or come from a broken home, he or she wouldn’t have committed the crime in the first place.
So in our country (the USA), the judge will sometimes factor in the socio-economic status of a person when deciding a sentence, and in extreme cases, one’s economic status will even determine one’s guilt or innocence.
We’ve been brainwashed to believe that the poor, due to their unfortunate economic circumstances should be considered as having less personal responsibility to do what is right and be punished to a lesser degree (simply because they’re poor).
However, is this Scriptural?
Is justice really served when it is meted out based on one’s socio-economic status?
I would say NO.
The Lord does NOT show favoritism to the poor, nor for the rich.
His justice is based solely on the choices we make with the FREE WILL He has given us.
It is what we choose to do with our God-given FREE WILLS that will determine how justice is meted out to us.
God has given us a FREE WILL to choose to follow the ways of HOLINESS or EVIL or to love YHVH, our God or not.
God could care less about the size of our bank account or whether we live in a palatial castle or rent a humble one-room apartment.