King David’s View on Justice
Synopsis Psalms 35:7-36:5 9/24/2021
King David asked God to ruin the plans of the unrighteous. He knew that God could rescue the weak from the power of the strong. So, he looked forward to praising God for bringing justice.
David went on to describe the unrighteousness of a malicious witnesses. These were people who used the legal system as a weapon. David specifically experienced this. David had occasion to do good to his adversary. But, in a moment when David was weak, his adversary became his enemy. In this way, they returned evil for good.
In this moment of vulnerability, David cried out to God. He sought justice. Specifically, he asked God to shame the people who wished for his misfortune. Likewise, he asked God to bless those people who supported David’s cause.
David’s View on Justice
David recognized that all legal systems have a natural disadvantage. That is, no legal code can enforce goodwill. As a result, unrighteousness people do not perceive their legal system as an arbiter of justice. Instead, for them, the legal system is a mere mechanism. With it, powerful people can lawfully abuse the weak.
Competition and Justice
This never seems to change. In our time, the legal system remains an arena where legal outcomes largely depend on who can hire the craftiest attorney.
Historically, no synthetic community has ever overcome this limitation. As a result, systematic injustice tends to slowly fray the fabric of every culture. It wears away the goodwill that each person owes other people and the community at large.
Thus, this is the strange irony of all synthetic communities. The system of laws that was originally intended to promote the common good, is usually the main cause of cultural failure.
“You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment. Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your neighbor justly.” Lev 19:15