“Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. And Isbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighted three hundred shekels, and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, ‘Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.’” (II Samuel 21:15-17)
We always think of David as the shepherd boy who killed Goliath, but this is the giant David could not kill. Many years ago, when David killed Goliath there was a little boy waiting for his daddy to return home. His daddy was the biggest, bravest soldier in the whole army. But that day the soldiers came running terrified as though someone was chasing them. The little boy became frightened and began calling for his daddy. Finally, someone stopped and told him his daddy was dead.
The little boy began crying, “Who killed my daddy?” and was told, “A shepherd boy in Israel killed your daddy.” This is the story of the son of Goliath.
It had been 40 years since David killed Goliath, but the little boy grew to become a giant. He hated David and never stopped stalking him. He waited for an opportunity to avenge his father’s death and believed the day had finally come.
Our enemy, the devil will never stop following us. He is always waiting for a weak moment when he can attack. We must never let down our guard.
David was no longer a young man. He was approximately 58 years of age and exhausted from the battle. It is extremely dangerous to become exhausted on the battlefield. David’s mistake was he was trying to fight the same way he did when he was young. We must wisely change our battle plans as we grow older. What worked well in our youth could get us killed as we grow older.
The name of the giant is more of a title, than it is a name. It means, “His dwelling is on the mountain.” It is like saying, “The one on the mountain.” Everyone knew the giant lived on the mountain, but no one wanted to talk about him.
There are things in all our lives which we do not like to talk about. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,” (Hebrews 12:1)
Abishai came to David’s aid. He became David’s armor-bearer and took up David’s fight. The giant was attacking David, but Abishai attacked the giant. He stood between David and the giant. We all need friends who love us enough to fight for us. Their help changes the outcome of the battle.
The giant had the advantage over David when Abishai came to his aid. David in his exhaustion could not kill this giant, Abishai killed him. We need people who will fight for us when we cannot fight for ourselves.
The solution to the problem was changing David’s leadership style. It was time to allow his men to begin killing giants. Giving up the opportunity to kill a giant is the last thing leaders want to do. What they miss most is the joy of the conquest. They must learn how to replace the adrenaline rush by celebrating their son’s victories. It is time to let the ladies sing about a new hero.
Because King Saul failed to kill his giant, none of the men who followed him became giant killers. This is called the law of the lid. Followers cannot supersede their leader, or they become the leader.
Because David killed Goliath, his men followed his example and became giant killers. “These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.” (II Samuel 21:22)