Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 21:15 (NIV)
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.
2 Samuel 21:15-17 (MSG)
War broke out again between the Philistines and Israel. David and his men went down to fight. David became exhausted.
“Now the Philistines were at war again with Israel. David went down with his servants, and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary.” -AMPLIFIED
Today we are going to look at David’s mighty men and their battle against giants. In Scripture we will find these men, their achievements and successes all written together in 2 Samuel 21:15-22 and also in 1 Chronicles 20. This in no way means that they all happened at the same time. In all actuality they probably occurred at various times in David’s reign.
There are four men of great courage that are recognized in four different Philistine battles. Each man is involved in some heroic encounter that involved a descendant of the Rapha; which were a line of giants. Yes, there were other giants besides Goliath.
These giants or Rapha were champions of the Philistines. They were thought to be invincible and everyone feared them. The fact that David as a boy was able to defeat and slay Goliath, a Rapha, did not detour the Philistines from sending more to confront him and his men in battle.
The first mighty man that we are introduced to is Abishai, Zeruiah’s son. Abishai’s story unfold like this:
“Now the Philistines were at war again with Israel. David went down with his servants, and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels (six pounds) of bronze, was armed with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to David’s aid, and struck and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men swore to him, “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 (AMP)
The second mighty man addressed was Sibbecai the Hushathite. Sibbecai was one of David’s guard, and the eighth captain designated for the eighth month of over 24,000 of the king’s men. He was rooted into one of the principal families of Judah, the Zarhites or the descendants of Zerah, and he was called “the Hushathite,” because of where he was born. Sibbecai’s story goes like this:
“Later there was another skirmish with the Philistines at Gob. That time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, another of the warriors descended from Rapha.” -2 Samuel 21:18 (MSG)
Next, we have our third man, Elhanan son of Jaar. Elhanan was from the tribe of Benjamin. There has been a little misunderstanding with Elhanan’s moment of achievement; especially if one were to only look at 2 Samuel 21.
“There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, whose spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam.” -2 Samuel 21:19 (AMP) If we look a little further into Scripture though we will find that in actuality Elhanan killed Goliath’s brother. We can find this in 1 Chronicles 20:5, “There was war again with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.” -(AMP) (Many chalk up the discrepancy as a transcriber error.)
Lastly, we find our fourth mighty man; this would be Jonathan, the son of Shimei. Shimei was David’s brother, so this would make Jonathan his nephew. Jonathan’s story of success goes like this,
“There was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he also was a descendant of the giants. And when he taunted and defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, killed him.” -2 Samuel 21:20-21 (AMP)
These four men of distinction did great things not only for their king, but also for their God. They were godly men of courage; committed to their king, country and God. They were willing to step out of their comfort zone in order to face and defeat the Enemy.
These men took literally God’s promise to them when He spoke these words, “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6 (MSG)
We have this promise to grab hold of also, “No weapon that is formed against you will succeed; and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you will condemn. This [peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,” says the Lord.” -Isaiah 54:17 (AMP)
Facing the giants in our lives can be terrifying, but we need to remember that God is always with us. We also need to remember this promise too, “No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].” -1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP)
If you are facing giants in you life today take courage! God is on your side! He will never leave you or forsake you! You are not alone. Trust in your God and believe that He will make you strong and is with you as you face-down and conquer that giant.
Lord, be my strength in this time as I face this giant. Give me the courage to face and conquer this seemingly impossible situation. You have promised to be my all-in-all. I need you to overcome my fear with your peace. Help me God. Give e the courage to face my fear and come out through to the other side victorious. God, you are BIGGER than any fear, situation or giant that I face. Help me to remember that truth. Fill my heart and mind with your promises at this time. I am stepping out in faith believing that you are walking with me every step of the way. I am trusting you God.