Fairness. It sounds almost inhumane in today's entitlement cultural atmosphere for me to say it is a crock. But it is. God does not have the word in His vocabulary. It is in fact entirely a human constuct.
King Solomon was presented with a challenge. Two women came to him, each claiming that a certain baby was theirs. Solomon listened as each gal told her story in turn. He thought a minute, then called for the baby to be divided in half. Yeah! Half and half! Even-Steven! Halfsies! Fifty-fifty. Sounds fair, right? But wait! This is a baby! Solomon, have you lost your mind!?
The account tells us Solomon had just been crowned. More importantly, and interestingly, we read that he had just prayed to God for wisdom.
Then Solomon said, You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?
This is the first clue that Solomon was smarter than it seems. So hang on. The account seems a horrifying, arbitrary decision on the surface. But like so much truth, it's because we aren't looking beyond our feelings of disgust, ridicule and arrogance. But look at what Solomon said, and what the women did, afterward. It shows what was really going on.
Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him. But the other said, He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him! Then the king said, Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.
So Solomon played a trick on the women? Not exactly. The false mother was on drugs? Nope. At least not the kind of drug you're thinking of. What Solomon did was capitilize on what was driving the lying woman, the false mother. She was a believer in fairness. Equality, if you like. Solomon knew one of the women was lying, and his ruse drew her out.
Now lest you think this simplistic, consider two things. First, the idea of fairness is always something that will be advantageous to one party but not to the other. And it always is feverishly sought on the part of the party that stands to gain, not the one who will lose. God does not deal with everyone the same. He loves all the same, but His orchestration of mens' lives, His gifts, all peoples' lots in life, are in His hands to do as He wishes, and unlike the ardent Socialist, God is not interested in equal distribution of anything except the opportunity to know Him. And second, look at what Scripture tells us about the outcome of Solomon's decision.
When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
Well, the people didn't think it stupid. They saw it as very astute. I think they also understood the lesson. There is no such thing as fairness. Here's another quote, from Jesus, on the subject of fairness.
...do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
In other words, don't ask why that happened, ask why it hasn't happened to you. You want fairness? Then you want more than what Jesus, the sinless one condemned for sin, got. You want more than His Father, God, bargained for when He planned from the foundation of the world to forgive His rebellious creatures. You don't want fairness, you want mercy. It's God's mercy that leads you to repentance.
I Kings 3, Luke 13, see Not to the Swift