So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah. But he delayed longer than the set time which David had appointed him. (2 Samuel 20:5)
I have a motto with regard to business meetings and appointments, "If you are on time, you are already late." I hate to be late and I am not fond of those who are. Amasa's delay cost him his life. If he would have been prompt in his responsibility, King David would not have sent his rival, Joab, to the battle—where Joab killed Amasa. I am by no means justifying Joab; nevertheless Amasa would have most likely remained commander except for his tardiness. Every time someone is late, life is taken. Let me explain: If you are to attend a meeting with twelve people and you are five minutes late, you have stolen an accumulated sixty minutes of time and the equivalent of an hour’s wages. Time is our greatest commodity. Once it is spent, it is gone; never to be regained. Therefore there is only one response to being late; it is not an excuse, it is repentance.