Every day I read from the Book of Psalms. The reading appointed for today is Psalm 72, which describes government under an ideal king. However, by way of application to people living today, the sacred text may refer to the ideal leader of a nation, such as a king, queen or president, even a governor or senator. “For,” writes the poet,
“he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight” (Psalm 72:12-14, NIV).
Thus, a leader, such as anyone who has been elected or appointed to an office of government, should be interested in social justice, that is, in caring for the economically vulnerable, so that their needs are not trampled upon by the economically advantaged.
With so much racial injustice and economic oppression of the poor today, it is well to ask: What are our nation’s leaders doing about those moral-economic issues? If those in positions of authority are not doing anything, then it may be concluded that they are not interested in social justice. There can be no true, lasting peace in a nation without justice. Thus, if leaders want peace, they must work for justice.