For more on this passage, read 2 Samuel 21
“Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.” (2 Samuel 21:15-17 – NASB – emphasis added)
According to scholars, the date of the events in these last chapters of 2 Samuel are uncertain. But we know that they happened towards the end of King David’s reign, after Absalom’s and Sheba’s rebellion.
The surroundings were familiar. The sounds were the same. Battle sounds.
Indeed, the scene depicted on the twenty-first chapter of 2 Samuel must have felt as déjà vu for old King David. Although the Philistines had been subdued so that their army was modest in size, they still had giants to bring to battle.
And as long as there were giants to fight the anointed King of Israel, the enemy would never give up.
Four Goliaths this time!
Four descendants of the one brought down with a little stone and whole lot of faith, had come to revenge their father.
Nope, the Giants never give up.
It’s a passage in the history of King David that one can easily skim through without second thought.
It’s the winding down of a life marked by righteousness and sin, victories and defeats, strengths and weaknesses.
It’s the fight against his last enemies, who were much like his first. Only more.
And yet, as the king drew strength from his God, leaning on the people who loved him to protect him, victory was his yet again. David fainted… but he did not flee. He kept his ground, and even though others fought for him, the victory was still his.
This account of the life of David, carefully placed, just before his song of deliverance and his last song (2 Samuel 22,23), taught me several lessons regarding the battles I face.
It’s a strong reminder that the giants never give up on those who seek to please God. Rather, they often become bigger, mightier, more…Giants never give up on those who seek to please God. Rather, they often become bigger, mightier, more Click To Tweet
It reminds me that my strength may fail me in battle. And I may become weary, and discouraged (v.15). And yet, so long as my heart is anchored on my God… so long as my life reflects His righteousness, justice, goodness and love, I have nothing to fear.
I may be too weak to fight, but even then, He sends friends who lift me up in prayer, thus strengthening my arms for battle… and sometimes even fighting the giants for me.
Like Aaron and Hur for Moses… (Exodus 17:12)
Like Abishai for David… (v.17)
The story made me realize that the giants may come back with stronger weapons and new tactics, but so long as I have Yahweh on my side, even in my weakest moment, I am strong In Him.
It’s true, my friend – powerful enemies will never give up on God’s people.
But neither does our God!
Trust Him for the battle. It belongs to Him, anyway.
David shouted this Truth to that first Giant, when he was but a boy. And watched it continue to unfold until the day he died:
The battle is the Lord’s! The battle is the Lord’s! (1 Samuel 17:47)
Your battle belongs to your God.
Your only job is to love and obey Him.
The rest… is His to do.
Are giants taunting you again?
Are they even stronger than before? Bigger? More?
My prayer is that you stand up, and do as David did:
- Do your part – do not give up. Get up and fight. (v.15)
- Ask for reinforcements – Call on a few good men (and women) to pray. (v.17-22)
But first and foremost, rest in the assurance that God is fighting for you.
He always will.
When you face your giants that way, you can confidently join King David’s song:
“For by You I can run upon a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.
“As for God, His way is blameless;
The word of the Lord is tested;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
“For who is God, besides the Lord?
And who is a rock, besides our God?
(2 Samuel 22:30-32)