The issue here, relative to “good people”, is one of righteousness. Do we have righteous people in charge?
The contrast is with “bad rulers”. This is the issue of Godless and wicked rulers. The Hebrew is רָשָׁע râshâ˓, raw-shaw’. This is someone who is morally wrong, an actively bad person. It has implications of a condemned, guilty, ungodly, wicked person that did wrong.
When good people run things, everyone is glad, but when the ruler is bad, everyone groans. ~King Solomon | Proverbs 29:2 (The Message Bible)
In this country, we get to decide who rules us. Not so during the Kings time.
Who will we choose?
Let’s dig deeper …
Righteousness: Conformity to a certain set of expectations, which vary from role to role. Righteousness is fulfillment of the expectations in any relationship, whether with God or other people. It is applicable at all levels of society, and is relevant in every area of life.
Righteousness denotes the fulfilled expectations in relationships between man and wife, parents and children, fellow citizens, employer and employee, merchant and customers, ruler and citizens, and God and man.
Depending on the fulfillment of one’s expectations, an individual could be called righteous and his or her acts and speech could be designated as righteous. The opposite of righteous is “evil,” “wicked,” or “wrong”.
Righteousness is the fiber which holds society, religion, and family together. Righteousness enhances the welfare of the community. A godly (not “pious” in the modern sense) person was called “righteous” (ṣaddîq). The ṣaddîq was a person of wisdom, whose “righteousness” …
Groan: The Hebrew is אָנַח ˒ânach, aw-nakh’; to sigh:— groan, mourn, sigh.
Consider Exodus 2:23 “After a long time, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned because of their difficult labor; and they cried out; and their cry for help because of the difficult labor ascended to God.”