When we think of the giant-slayer of the Bible, who comes to mind? The mighty warrior, the lamp of Israel, the anointed king, the one and only David. A man who had his own mighty men who were fearless, killed lions, and never backed down from a fight. (2 Sam 23)
As I prepared to teach Bible study, I ran across a story that left me with more questions than answers. It was the story of when David became weak in battle and was almost killed by a giant. Yes, the man after God's own heart became faint. The story is in 2 Samuel 21. Apparently, I had skimmed through this story in the past, but as I studied that day- I had one question for God...Why? Why did David become weak in battle? Why did someone else have to kill this giant for him? Why did You not give him supernatural strength to defeat this guy? I mean, really- David was a warrior, this could have been a perfect ending to his military career, but he became weak and was made to retired from battle.
They were in the seemingly endless battle with the Philistines. The Bible even states in 2 Samuel 21:15, 'once again there was a battle with the Philistines'.
I guess it was that time of the year.
"What are you doing today, honey?"
"Oh, you know, I'm gonna go fight the Philistines."
It was a thing.
And so, year after year, decade after decade, the battle continued.
Do you ever feel that way-
That your battle has endured for decades?
I closed my Bible that day and wondered why this story was even recorded. I considered skipping it and moving on to something with a little more 'meat'. I had taught on David's life for several weeks, and each week had been amazing. He was a man who was repentant, humble, had a passion for praise, and a heart for God. So many lessons can be taught based on his life, but I failed to see any significant point in this story.
As I pelted God with questions, He began to show me the 'why'. The giant, Ishbi-benob, with his 7 pound spear and armed with a 'new sword', saw David in his weakness, and 'thought to kill him'. A stronger man protected the king by killing this giant. David's men swore to him that he could no longer go out to battle. Had God given him the strength to kill this guy, I'm sure everyone would know his crazy name. It would probably be as popular a story as the battle with Goliath.
But, David became faint.
There may be times when we will become weak,
unable to fight, and will have to lean on others.
Flash back to young David. When he saw Goliath, the giant who was defying God, there was no stopping him. God knew there would be giants in our life that were 'Goliaths'. We would run toward them in the name of the Lord, and boom- defeated, but have you ever had a giant that didn't fall quickly?
God began to show me important points in the story of David's weakness.
The Israelites had fought the Philistines for decades.
There are some giants that we may fight for decades.
David couldn't do it, he needed help. Had it not been for a man named Abishai, David would have died.
Often, we can't fight our battles alone, and need someone to help, maybe even fight for us.
God protected David.
God protects us.
Here's the deal . . . there are some giants in our life who are "Ishbi-benobs"- that seemingly invincible giant that you've fought for years.
Perhaps it's fear, addictions, insecurity, financial struggles, marital problems, emotional issues, depression, or sickness- to name a few.
We have the assurance that God sees us in our weakness, He knows our struggles, and we never fight alone.
As I taught the ladies Bible study that day, God began to move in our midst. Two ladies opened up about how they had fought a giant for years. They were emotionally weary from carrying that baggage for decades. Those of us who were strong held them up in prayer and helped fight their battle. God healed them that day!
So, stand strong and keep fighting. God is with you!
Be strong and courageous!
Do not tremble or be dismayed,
for the Lord your God
is with you wherever you go. (Josh. 1:9)