During the golden age under David and Solomon, Israel's efforts to promote fairness and justice for its citizens rivaled modern efforts toward these noble ideals. Both kings were known for administering justice to their people (2 Samuel 8:15; 1 Chronicles 18:14; 1 Kings 3:3). As a model nation, Israel attracted international leaders seeking to view its prosperity and culture firsthand. One such dignitary was the queen of Sheba.
As part of His covenant instructions, God had told the Israelites to treat fairly all people residing within the boundaries of their nation.
After testing Solomon with questions, personally reviewing his building projects and noting the Israelite culture, the famous queen said to Solomon: "It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard.
"Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness" (1 Kings 10:6-9; compare with 2 Chronicles 9:1-8).
Happiness and peace flourish in an atmosphere of justice and fairness for all regardless of their race or background. As part of His covenant instructions, God had told the Israelites to treat fairly all people residing within the boundaries of their nation. He specifically said, "One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you" (Exodus 12:49). Expounding on this principle, God added, "You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" (Exodus 22:21).
Strangers were to have the same rights as natives. Judges and rulers were to apply laws evenhandedly. The opportunity to worship God on His Holy Days was to be available to strangers if they so desired (Exodus 12:48; Leviticus 16:29). When Israel rested on the seventh-day Sabbath, strangers in the land were to be allowed to rest as well (Exodus 20:10).
Just like native Israelites, strangers were welcome to offer sacrifices to God (Numbers 15:14). Health laws applied equally to natives and strangers (Leviticus 17:15), and God instructed the Israelites to assist the poor and the stranger among them (Leviticus 19:10; Leviticus 23:22; Leviticus 25:35). In short, God told Israel to love strangers and treat them as though they were native born (Leviticus 19:34).
God intended that the right to and privilege of worshipping Him and living in His model nation be available to all. "Justice for all" was God's obvious expectation.