You must not pervert the justice of the foreigner or of the fatherless, nor take a widow’s cloak as a pledge. Deut. 24:17
Just reading that, I doubt that anyone would object. It sounds ethical, morally responsible, like a way that good people should function.
It is more than that, far more than that. It is a peek into the heart of God. A quick glimpse into the very nature of the Lord God Almighty.
It is an abomination before God to have two standards of justice, one for the good guys, another for the vulnerable. Neither money, connections, family nor appearance is to cause the standard of what is just and fair to be changed from one person to the other. So says God.
It sounds logical, reasonable, and fair to the ear, but putting it into practice is a far more difficult process.
Walk through a public area, a large store or down a city street, a perfect stranger smiles and nods their head and you will likely respond with a smile. In that same setting, what happens if the person is ragged, smelly, or disheveled? Does your mind run to condemnation, avoidance or fear? Do you move toward a different doorway, or try to change aisles? Do you have the same patience if you are behind them in the check out lane while they count out loose change as for the woman fumbling through her expensive purse looking for her debit card?
God spends lots of time in Scripture, pressing the idea that those who are different should have the same access to fair treatment as those who look like us. Accents, language, skin tone, clothing style, and social advantage should never enter into our thoughts when considering how to treat someone.
James reinforces this concept in the New Testament, “Pure and undefiled religion before God is to remember the widows and the fatherless and to keep one’s self unspotted from the world.”
Honestly, it is easier to speak about than to do consistently.