Now, announce to the men, ‘Whoever is shaking with fear may turn around and leave Mount Gilead.’” Twenty-two thousand men went home; ten thousand remained.
Through God wanted only a few men–he wanted the best. So the first thing was to weed out the incompetent. The army would be stronger with all these sent home–rather than with them all straggling along. There were twenty thousand cowards; and the ten thousand brave men would be stronger alone than the thirty thousand, having the timid thousands among them.
Timidity is infectious. Many a church would be stronger if it were weeded out–just as Gideon’s army was. Its weakness lies in its great numbers, not because numbers necessarily weaken–but because there are so many half-hearted people on the church roll. They have lost their interest, if they ever had any, and are indifferent, without thorough consecration. They add no strength–but only hinder the other members and dampen their zeal.