OceanSide church of Christ

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2 Samuel 21:15-17


A.        There are three great lessons from David’s life involving giants.

1.         The first we might call “The Giant David Slew.” Everybody knows the story of David killing the giant named Goliath. He won a great victory over the one who defied the armies of the living God (1 Sam. 17).

2.         The second we might call, “The Giant that Slew David” (2 Sam. 11). That “giant” was temptation and it wrecked David’s life.

3.         But there was a third giant that David faced. This giant came along later in life and David was not able to kill him!

B.        His name was Ishbi-benob, and like Goliath, he was a Philistine. David bravely faced the giant, but he grew tired (“waxed faint”) and would have been killed if Abishai, his nephew, had not come to his rescue.

C.        Yes, this is the same David who had earlier slain the champion of the Philistines, but now he nearly dies at the hands of a lesser opponent.

D.        What are some lessons this account teaches us?

1.         Let us read this account.

2.         2 Samuel 21:15-17





A.      Try to picture the scene.

1.       David may have thought, “Seems like I’ve been here before...didn’t I already beat the Philistine giant once?”

2.       (See: 21:16 + 21:18-22).

    B.      Likewise our “giants” come back.

1.       Heb. 12:1,2 - “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

2.       The devil is continually on the warpath-trying to destroy us and cause us to stumble.

3.       We learn from James 1:14 - “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” (This is the way temptation works)

                       a.  Temptation is common to all “But every man is tempted...”

1.  Temptation is something everyone goes through.

2.  No one can escape the grasp of its hand.

                  b.  Temptation is gradual “...when he is drawn away...”

1.  Very seldom do we ever see one just turn their back on God and walk away.

2.  They begin to miss one service then another - soon every service...(One drink - drunkard, one lotto ticket - mortgage house, etc...)

                  c.  Temptation is custom made “...of his own lust...”

1.  Satan knows where you are the weakest - and he will do all he can to exploit that area.

2.  I may be strong where you are weak and vise-versa - that is why we should always pray for each other and encourage one another.

                       d.  Temptation is very attractive “...and enticed...” (“lure”)

1.  Paul warned the Corinthians that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:14)

2.  When speaking of the faithful - the inspired writer of Hebrews mentioned the temptation of Moses - and stated that he had... “...rather suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (Heb. 11:25)

    C.      Jesus is a good example of Satan and his device of temptation -  (turn to Luke 4:1-13 READ). (What can we learn from this?)

          1.       Even Christ was not exempt from temptation (v. 1).

2.       He was first tempted with food, the lust of the flesh (v. 2-4).

3.       He was next tempted with power, the lust of the eye (v. 5-8).

4.       He was finally tempted with pride, the pride of life (v. 9- 12).

5.      These are the same avenues the devil uses to tempt every man

1  Jno. 2:15-17 - “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

             6.       But notice verse 13, “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.”

a.       This means “for a fixed time, a seasonable or opportune time.”

b.       The devil departed from Him – but kept watching for another opportunity to tempt Him.

D.      Thus it was possible for the inspired writer to say that Christ was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15 - “ For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”).

    E.      Consider Abraham (a friend of God) who faced the same temptation twice and fell both times

                   1.       Gen. 12:13 - “Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.”

2.       Gen.20:2 - “And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”

F.     Peter - a man chosen by God as an Apostle temptation on one occasion and cursed and denied the Lord (Matt. 26:74,75 - “ Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.).

G.     Old sins will come back to haunt us as well. (We all have various scars in our lives left by the sins we have committed.)

H.     One victory never guarantees freedom from further temptation. Giants have a way of coming back.




A.      David’s victory of Goliath did him no good when he faced Ishbi-benob.

    B.      Couldn’t you just hear David beginning to reminisce with Ishbi-benob, “You know, I’m the one who killed Goliath. You’ve heard them call me ‘the giant slayer!’ You’re likely to be next.”

    C.      But, Ishbi-benob was not interested in the past; he wanted to see what David could do in the present. David’s reputation did not help him a bit. He nearly died this time.

    D.      Satan is not impressed with our past victories.

             1.       We won a great victory the day we summoned the faith to obey Christ’s Gospel (Acts 2:38; 22:16).

2.       The devil lost one of his own (Gal. 3:27). But that doesn’t bother him much. He thinks he can get us back (1 Pet. 5:8).

    E.      We may have won a victory in finding a Christian to marry, but he thinks he can break up the marriage:

1.       Matt. 19:4-6, 9 - “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

9 - “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

          F.       We may have won a great victory in quitting some bad habit, but he thinks he can pull us back into it (1 Pet. 2:11 - “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;).

    G.      We may have won a victory in finding a good congregation with which to worship and work, but he thinks he can cause ill will between brethren (Gal. 5:14,15 - “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.”).

    H.      Satan is not even interested in our reputations.

             1.       It did not stop him from attacking the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt. 23). They had the reputation, but the devil got them anyway!

2.       It did not stop him from getting Demas (2 Tim. 4:11) and Diotrophes (3 Jno. 9).

    I.        You may have the reputation of being a godly elder, preacher, deacon, Bible class teacher, or Christian, but that reputation will not keep the devil from coming near us. If anything that will increase his temptations because if we fall it is a greater victory for him (1 Cor. 10:12 - “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”).

    J.       One cannot live on past accomplishments, but we can defeat the devil on a daily basis (Jas. 4:7 - “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”).




A.      Here was David, the hero of the Goliath battle, “face down in the dirt.”

1.       Maybe his soldiers wondered, “Should we help him? Maybe not. After all, he might be embarrassed if we offered.”

2.       No, David was ready for some help!

    B.      David’s nephew, Abishai (2 Sam. 2:18), had proved to be headstrong and fiery in youth (cf. 1 Chron. 18:12,13), and David had not always agreed with all that he did (1 Sam. 26:5-9; 2 Sam. 19:21-23). But Abishai, with all his faults, was the one God used to save the king’s life (2 Sam. 21:16,17).

    C.      David was fortunate enough to have someone there when he needed help. Is it not the case that we all need help sometimes?

    D.      Even the great lawgiver and leader, Moses, needed Aaron and Hur to help hold up his arms (Ex. 17:8-13 READ).

1.       Why is this in the Bible?

2.       Is it not to show us that everybody needs help sometimes? (Even Moses!)

3.       Is it not also to show that we need to “hold up the hands” of our brothers and sisters? (We do have a responsibility!)

    E.      Our common interests of going to heaven, building up Christ’s church, and saving lost souls should unite us with such a tight bond that we help each other in every way possible to go to heaven.

1.       Gal. 6:2 - “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

2.       Hebrews 13:1 - “Let brotherly love continue...”


F.       Let us all realize and understand that we all need help sometimes.



    A.      When David’s men saw that he had almost been killed, they made him promise not to engage in battle anymore, lest he should “quench the light of Israel” (2 Sam. 21:17).

             1.       David was no longer the mighty warrior that he once was and they feared for his life.

2.       They had already made the request once (2 Sam. 18:1-4).

3.       They could do without David as a soldier, but they could not continue without his leadership.

4.       His role needed to change.

    B.      There may come a time when our role in the church will change.

             1.       It may come when we change works in the church (e.g., deacon becomes elder, preacher “retires”, elder ceases to function in that capacity).

             2.       It may come when we get older and unable to physically accomplish what we once could:

a.       Gen. 48:10 - “ Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see.”

b.       Psa. 71:9 - “ Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.”

3.       Just b/c you are getting older, this does not mean we cease to work or cease to be of value to the church:

1.       Job 2:12 - “With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.”

2.       Prov. 16:31 - “ The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

3.       Psa. 92:12-15 - “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;  To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”

    C.      We have to find other ways to be of service.

1.       Recently a study was made of 400 outstanding achievers.

2.       It was found that people between the ages of 60 and 70 produced 35% of the world’s great achievements and people between 70 and 80 produced 23%.

3.       This means that 54% of the world’s great achievements were accomplished by people after they had celebrated their 60th birthday.

    D.      Whatever we do, we should do it heartily unto the Lord and not unto men (Col. 3:23).

    E.      Bezaleel and Aholiab were the primary craftsmen who were responsible for the tabernacle in the Old Testament (Ex. 35:20-24).

1.       But behind the scenes were many unnamed people who contributed in important ways (cf. women in v. 25).

             2.       God smiled on those behind the scenes, who were not recognized and whose names never made it into Holy Writ just as He did the others.

F.       Maybe your role is to be in the limelight and leadership. If so, stay humble, work hard, and bring God glory. Maybe your role is to “keep your face in the coal” or to be a nameless seamstress. If so, do your best and bring God glory.


A.      There is much to learn from David’s battle with the “other giant.”

1.       Giants have a way of coming back.

2.       We cannot live on past accomplishments.

3.       We all need help sometimes.

4.       Our roles sometimes change.


B.     Are you battling a giant today? Is your faith going to win and bring you to confess Christ and be baptized (Acts 2:38)? Has a giant come back that has you “face down in the dirt?” Do you need the prayers of the saints and the forgiveness of God? Why not come now?