Summary: Envy is nothing less than the fear that God’s provision isn’t enough. There’s no reason to think that way.
Title: The fear of General Insufficiency
Text: Numbers 11:26-30
FCF: We all fear that there isn’t enough of God’s love to go around, but we’re wrong.
1) George McCllelan
a) John Tyler recommendation (age 15) Graduated 2nd in his class
b) Mexican War Engineer, Gen. Scott / outshone by Robert E. Lee
c) Frustrated by lack of laurels … When War started rushed back
d) Scott resigns, now #1 – only complains / snubs Lincoln
e) Such was the reason he was called ‘Little Mac’
You see, at its heart, jealousies and envies – these passions that kill us – are ultimately little – even belittling passions. They tempt us to think that the only way in which one can achieve greatness is to make others small. It’s a hurtful thing – especially to the one who cannot overcome his own jealousy. It’s a trap that makes even the greatest into little men.
a) In Marriage: “Who’s winning?” Nonsensical
b) At work: Comptetitveness
c) Even in the Church: Oh, I wish we were like Church X or Pastor Y
3) The Story
4) Jealousy is fundamentally not a failure of self-will but self-esteem
a) We are children of the King! Real princes don’t worry about provision
c) Daiyenu: It would have been enough;
d) 2 Peter 1:8: If we believe God has given us all things, why worry about what he’s given others?
There’s no reason to be jealous when we really know that God has given us all we really need. Gen. McClellan was a jealous man, because deep down inside, that little Napoleon had a little view of himself. Deep down, he was a pitiful, fearful little man. He was a coward in General’s clothing.
5) McClellan’s fear
a) Inability to move
b) Peninsula Campaign – fake troops
c) Battle of Seven Pines, He was busy protecting his reputation w/a boat captain
6) Lee’s promotion; McCllellan’s relieved from command
Pretty much any historian will tell you the same thing: The Civil War lasted way too long. The North had 3x the population, all of the major industrial centers, and a sense of unity of purpose that the Confederacy could only dream of. What they lacked was good generals to guide them. From only a few months into the War, the South had Robert E. Lee. But petty rivalries, jealousies, and sometimes outright incompetence turned that same post in the North into a never-ending succession of could-have-beens.
It didn’t have to be that way, of course. Take Gen. George McClellan, for instance. At the age of 15, his talent was so clear that President John Tyler’s own letter of recommendation got him into West Point a year before he was legally eligible. Four years later, he graduated second in his class, and went on to serve in the Mexican American War.
He served under the most respected General of his day – Winfield Scott. He was an engineer who performed great deeds and heroic service – but the glory ended up primarily on another of Gen. Scott’s engineers, namely one Robert E. Lee – oddly enough also salutatorian of his West Point class.
Frustrated at his lack of laurels and adulation, McClellan quit his promising military career, but he never really found what he wanted in civilian life either. So, when fighting broke out in 1861, he raced to get a commission as quickly as he could. Within weeks, at the tender young age of 34, Little Mac found himself to be the second highest ranking officer in the Union Army – reporting only to none other than his old commander Gen. Winfield Scott.