Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 128 - Leadership and Time; Luk 19:12-27.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 128 - Leadership and Time; LUK 19:12-27.


Announcements / opening prayer:


The Battle of Fredericksburg (1862 Virginia) was a humiliating meat-grinder of a defeat for the Union Army, and the fault lies squarely with General Ambrose Burnside. Burnside admitted as much after the war, while many another general played the blame game. The man would be forgotten today but for the fact that he lent his name to excessive cheek hair. Yes, sideburns were indeed originally called burnsides, and Burnside himself looked like he had a pair of squirrels hammocking between his nose and ears.

President Lincoln gave Burnside command of the Union Army of the Potomac. In December 1862, Robert E. Lee’s rebel forces were precariously divided at Fredericksburg, Va., the crucial Confederate capital. Burnside felt that if he moved rapidly and decisively, he could end the war by eliminating the defenses at Fredericksburg and taking Richmond. Burnside commanded some 118,000 troops—the largest army in U.S. history up to that time.

Some of Lee’s troops were defending Fredericksburg itself; the rest, under the famed T.J. “Stonewall” Jackson (so named for his stubborn resistance at the 1861 First Battle of Bull Run), were about three and a half miles south at Prospect Hill. A good tactician might have assessed the situation and said, “Take Prospect Hill pronto with your superior numbers, turn north and finish off Fredericksburg with a flanking maneuver, then on to Richmond. Game over.” Instead, Burnside chose to confront the Fredericksburg defenders with his main force and send General George Meade to deal with the rebels at Prospect Hill. Driven back by Jackson, Meade begged for reinforcements, but by that time Burnside was busy head-butting Fredericksburg. Burnside first tried to traverse the Rappahannock River with pontoon bridges—Lee had burned all the existing spans—but Confederate sharpshooters on the far bank proved too much for the exposed, unarmed Union engineers desperately trying to lay planks across the boats. Burnside ultimately used the pontoons as makeshift assault craft to mount one of the earliest amphibious assaults in U.S. history. It didn’t help that a sudden December thaw and heavy rain had turned the far bank of the Rappahannock into boot-sucking, wheel-clogging mud (bad timing). The river crossing cost an entire day, exactly what Jackson needed to force-march his troops to Fredericksburg and link up with its defenders.

An infuriated Burnside tried to level Fredericksburg with his artillery, but the Confederates fell back to what would prove to be the finest defensive position Lee would ever hold: Just west of town was a broad cow pasture bordered by a substantial stone wall, built to keep the cattle out of the adjacent sunken road. Confederate soldiers who took up position behind this wall didn’t even have to crouch—just stand and deliver. Behind them was a ridge, beyond which Lee emplaced his artillery, hidden from direct fire. Inexplicably, Burnside threw 14 brigades at the stone wall, and rebel infantry scythed wave after wave of blue uniforms. Burnside became obsessed with the deadly Southern redoubt, perhaps assuming the Confederates would at some point run out of ammunition or morale. Neither happened, and by nightfall on December 13, 1862, after nine direct assaults, more than 12,000 Union troops lay dead or wounded, a carpet of blue on a meadow where the temperature soon plummeted to 15 degrees. The thaw had ended.


Burnside should have realized his error and retreated, but he was infuriated at his lack of success. The time wasn't right for him to do it his way, but he didn't care. Men died due to foolish leadership.


8. Time: The good leader manages his time affectively so that he may be the servant of all.


If we need help with a task or we need the service of another, we most often do not go to the people with the most free time on their hands, since they have so much free time because they are sluggards. We usually go to the busiest people and often we find that they make time to help us and they do so well. Our problem is not too little time, but making better use of the time we have.


Sometimes, those who fail to be productive in this way see a lot of work as tiresome or excessive, when they are looking for as much leisure time as possible. They fail to understand that leisure time is more precious when it is at the right time. Too much of it makes it common place and therefore, not enjoyable or special.


Others may surpass our abilities, influence, or money, but no one has more time.


Christ tells a parable of minas in which each of ten men receive one mina. In the same way, each of us has been given 24 hours in a day, but who of us invest this time in God's kingdom so as to produce a ten-fold return?


In the parable of the talents in MAT 25:14-30 each slave is given a different amount and the reward is the same. In the parable of the minas each slave is given the same amount and the reward is different.


What the mina represents is not said. It might be the gospel, our inheritance, our position, or any other thing that each believer receives equally at the moment of salvation, but in our study I'd like you to think of it as representing time.


LUK 19:12 He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return.


LUK 19:13 "And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business with this until I come back.'


LUK 19:14 "But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.'


LUK 19:15 "And it came about that when he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him in order that he might know what business they had done.


LUK 19:16 "And the first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.'


LUK 19:17 "And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, be in authority over ten cities.'


LUK 19:18 "And the second came, saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.'


LUK 19:19 "And he said to him also, 'And you are to be over five cities.'


The parable recognizes different abilities. The second slave was rewarded. God has given each of us certain abilities and it is not for us to decide what extent to which God will choose to use our gifts. Since the second slave is not condemned we may conclude that he did the master's will. Will the second slave with five cities be envious of the first slave with ten? Will he cry foul to the master in that he wasn't given as much ability as the first? When the master is Jesus Christ, he does not. His desire is to only have Christ glorified, whether he has an opportunity to do so or whether others have even more of an opportunity to do so.


LUK 19:20 "And another came, saying, 'Master, behold your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief;


LUK 19:21 for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down, and reap what you did not sow.'


LUK 19:22 "He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow?


LUK 19:23 'Then why did you not put the money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?'


The master is not like the idea that the third slave has. The master doesn't admit to being unjust in verse 22, but simply saying that he was going to judge the man based on his erroneous view of him.


If it were true that the master was hard unfair man then he should have at least put the money in the bank. But this shows that though he did fear the master, he still didn't respect him. Fear is not the way to get respect. This reveals well how erroneous are the ideas that people have concerning God. None of us can claim to know the most of all others but none of us should have to claim ignorance when it comes to the grace, mercy, and love of God as well as the judgment of God.


The master was not hard and unfair, but if he was, as the man supposed, the man should have put the mina in the bank. He fears the master but doesn't respect him. Fear does not = respect.


It would seem that the more I serve God the more I'll get to serve. The first two men respect the master and seem to lovingly serve him. The third man has an erroneous view of the master and fears him as hard and unfair. His fear should have led him to at least put the money in the bank, and perhaps the indication is that if he did, when the master returned and rewarded him he might have learned who the master really was. Many Christians start out in a sinful fear of God due to the fact that they don't know Him and out of that erroneous fear they give some time to His word, i.e. they invest a little, and when they do they might actually come to know who He really is and then the sinful fear will turn to a righteous fear of awe, respect, and obedience in love.


The more we serve the more we will see its reality and the more we will want to serve and God will give us the opportunity to do so. The less I serve, the less and less I will serve.  


"It is always so, the gracious and faithful man obtains more grace and more means of usefulness, while the unfaithful man sinks lower and lower and grows worse and worse. We must either make progress or else lose what we have attained. There is no such thing as standing still in religion." [Charles Spurgeon]


LUK 19:24 "And he said to the bystanders, 'Take the mina away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.'


LUK 19:25 "And they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas already.'


LUK 19:26 "I tell you, that to everyone who has shall more be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.


LUK 19:27 "But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence."


Time is involved in everything. Every opportunity has a time and place. As Einstein discovered, space and time are permanently linked together, which is called spacetime. Space and time are not independent.