The hill was on Lee’s left flank directly in the path of General Richard Ewell’s corps. Lee sent a message to General Ewell directing him to “take that hill if feasible.” As Ewell’s corps advance through Gettysburg and over the field leading to Culp’s Hill, the Union Army began to pour into the Gettysburg countryside. Elements that had been routed earlier in the day were streaming eastward toward General Meade’s Union army encampment on Cemetery Ridge just to the east of Culp’s Hill. If Ewell could take that hill, his guns would be trained right down upon them. Ewell paused his forces. What should he do? Should he attack with full force and push them off the hill? Should he take a small detachment and engage the enemy for strength? Should he stop his advance and wait until the next day’s light? Ultimately, Ewell decided to do nothing. Two days later the Confederate Army, defeated, straggled back toward the Potomac River and the safety of Virginia. The moment had been lost. The day had been lost. The battle had been lost. And, ultimately, the war had been lost. For the sake of a moment’s indecision, all had been lost.
Ewell risked failure because he couldn’t make a timely decision. Only one decision, but so much depended upon that moment’s value. When you think about it, our lives are like that terrible battle. Satan’s army lies before us waiting to destroy us. God is behind us, though. He tells us to take the high ground and put the foe on the defensive. We can either advance or retreat. But, remember, this battle hinges on your ability to be discerning. Delay can be costly when you are fighting the good fight. Every moment has its value. We should live life in a spirit of knowing this and accepting our responsibility to understand that our decisions, good and bad, are critical to the path we walk in this life.
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Greg Buchner on Jun 13, 2005
This sermon was my last sermon at Wakelee Church. It uses a wheelbarrow for an analogy for the body of Christ in transition.
Contributed by Ernie Arnold on May 12, 2015
Jesus Ascension shares with us Jesus' Goodbye Promises. 1. The Promise that all things are in God's Hands and under His control. 2. The Promise of a better life through the Holy Spirit. 3. The Promise of being a Global Witness for Jesus.