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Day by Day - 1 Samuel
Machiavelli, The Prince, And David
Clif Johnson
Aired on Feb 27, 2024
Show Day by Day
Feb 09, 2024
00:02:32 Minutes

It is all too easy to justify dishonesty by saying it will lead to something good.   ~~~   “The end justifies the means.” How many of you are familiar with that phrase. The statement declares that if the end goal is valuable enough, worthy enough, then any means, any avenue, any scheme or strategy it takes to achieve that goal, is justified—whether it be right or wrong, just or unjust, fair or cruel. The end justifies the means. For example—How many of you have been to a revival, crusade of some sort…perhaps it was a youth conference, and at the end of the sermon the preacher said something like, “I want everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. No one looking around but me. If you want to give your life to Jesus, raise your hand. Look at that, hands go up all around the room.” But while he is saying that, you happen to open your eyes, and you see that only a couple of people have raised their hands. Why would the preacher say, “Hands go up all over the room”? Because in his mind, the goal of getting someone saved justifies the means of making people think that many people were coming to Christ, so they should as well.” The idea of the phrase “the end justifies the means” is accredited to Machiavelli, an Italian diplomat and philosopher of the 15th-16th centuries, in his book The Prince. There Machiavelli wrote, “It is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them…let a prince have the credit of conquering and holding his state, the means will always be considered honest, and he will be praised by everybody;” (Chapter 18, The Prince). I don’t think it would take very long for any of us to recount a time or two where we justified dishonesty, sinfulness, because we thought it would lead to a noble, even godly purpose and place. And we wouldn’t be the first generation. But if you want to see what any of this has to do with David and King Saul, you have to return tomorrow.

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