12A ruler who listens to lies
will have corrupt officials.
13The poor and all who abuse them
must each depend on God
14Kings who are fair to the poor
will rule a long time.
The Book of Proverbs is normally attributed to King Solomon (probably with some bits added from elsewhere) who was a divinely appointed, absolute monarch. The point of v14 is that there is a permanent ethical responsibility for the king to treat people generally, and the poor in particular, justly.
Through the timeline of history this responsibility shifts. It shifts away from absolute monarchy with the Magna Carta in the 13th century, that first limited the power of the king; through to the Bill of Rights in the USA in the 18th century, that constrained the judicial authority of government; up to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the 20th century, that put the fairness issue on a global stage in the aftermath of two World Wars.
Today, migration is a big human rights issue. The United Nations calculated some time back that about one in seven of the world’s population lives outside of their country or region of origin (United Nations Human Development Report, 2009).
And migrants don’t tend to fall into the categories of rich or powerful. They are mostly poor. The political debate of 2016 rages around whether or not to erect physical, legal or technical barriers to inhibit migration across national borders.
Whatever your personal take on the so-called migrant crisis (and its even darker side, human trafficking), there is no avoiding two things; first, the biblical mandate to treat the foreigner with impartial fairness; second, that in the eternal kingdom of God no one exists outside of dependency on him for light and life.
Father God, I believe you ultimately rule the nations. Help me to be part of your kingdom rule in our day and age. Amen.