Judges 7:2-7 [NASB]  The Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me.’  Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’” So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained.  Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.”  So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.”  Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water.  The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.” Over the years, I have several times been blessed by preaching on the text of Gideon and how he [ or God ] chose the men to fight the Midianites. From verse 3 we can see that Gideon originally had 32,000 men (the 22,000 fearful that returned home, and the 10,000 that remained). The Lord instructed Gideon that the 10,000 who were not fearful were too still too many and He would further test them to select the final force. So they went down to the river and selected the men by the way they drank (raising the water up in their hands and lapping it, or kneeling down and drinking directly. I was struck, however, at the apparently opposite lessons two preachers drew about how the men were chosen and the kind of force the Lord selected. Preacher number one was making a point that it was really by the might of the Lord that the battle would be won, and not by their own power. Verse 2 supports this view since the Lord knew that a victory would make the people boastful when part of what He desired is for the people to be grateful to the Lord for the victory. The other preacher was ordinating new to their board of deacons and was using this to illustrate selecting the best men for the job. Both preachers said the fearful were eliminated because their fear would keep them from performing well in battle. But when it comes to the drinking of the water, the first preacher who was emphasizing that it was the Lord that delivered the victory, keyed on the comparison to dogs as an indication that these were unreliable persons while the other, who was making a point about selecting capable men characterized them as vigilant, being able to drink while still scanning the territory for enemies. If you read on you will see that the Israelites were successful not by the fierceness of their warriers, but by startling the Midianites out of sleep, causing confusion and in their confusion the enemy fought one another. After the route of the enemy army, Gideon then summoned the rest of Israel to chase the enemy across the Jordan. It did not take great warriors, nor a great number of men to charge the camp, but it did take the right men with courage and willingness to follow their instructions. Now the first preacher was right in that it was more the might of the Lord that the battle was won, than the prowess of the warriors. But the second was right in that it took the few willing to enter into battle vastly outnumbered and to follow what may seem like foolish orders. He applied this to the decon's positions as that they were now representing the congregation as a whole and were expected to uphold its teachings and not become a source of disunity.