Thoroughly Equipped: Goliath Had a Brother

Today’s reading is 2 Samuel 20:14-21:22, Acts 1:1-26, Psalm 121:1-8, and Proverbs 16:18.

Today we see David in battle with an old, familiar enemy.  Did you know that Goliath had a brother?  Yes, he did.  And David and his men had to come against him in battle once again.  That family of giants were quite the thorn in David’s side.  You would think that his victory over Goliath—you know, the one that made him famous in his youth, the one that displayed his faith in God, the one that thrust him into a position of honor and eventually to the position of king—would be enough.  You would think that God would have protected him from having to face that enemy again.  But He didn’t.  And we really don’t have any ground to stand on to argue the whys.  He is God and we are not.  Here is the passage to which I am referring.

15 Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. 16 Ishbi-benob was a descendant of the giants[d]; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds,[e] and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again! Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?”

18 After this, there was another battle against the Philistines at Gob. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of the giants.

19 During another battle at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair[f] from Bethlehem killed the brother of Goliath of Gath.[g] The handle of his spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!

20 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man[h]with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. 21 But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.[i]

22 These four Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.


We see that David is not quite the young, invincible man he was when he first encountered Goliath.  He was just healing from an extremely difficult, devastating and stressful situation.  He had been on the run, his son had betrayed him, then died, and he had to win back the loyalty of the tribe of Judah—his own tribe.  Things had not been easy for David.  And yet, the battles still raged.  He still had enemies to overcome—enemies that he perhaps thought were already taken care of.  But there were still four giants in the family of Goliath, his brother being one of them.

When he first encountered Goliath, he single-handedly defeated him with a slingshot and a stone.  But here we see that in the heat of the battle, David grows weak and exhausted.  He needs help this time.  And help quickly came.  God sent loyal men to help him fight.  And together, David and his warriors killed the family of Goliath.

What is the practical application here?

First of all, we are overcomers.  Scripture is very clear about that.  Sometimes, God will equip us to single-handedly overcome our enemies.  But sometimes, we grow weak and exhausted.  Sometimes, we need to reach out for help, knowing that we are better fighting together than fighting alone.  The enemy of our soul in no gentlemen.  He does not give us a break when we are having a hard time.  He does not show us mercy because we are weak and exhausted.  No, the enemy of our soul may see that as an opportunity to send in four giants, not just one.  But remember, we are overcomers.  God has given us authority, through the shed blood of Jesus, to overcome the enemy everytime.  When we are weak, God will send faithful ones to help us, support us, fight with us, or maybe fight for us when we can’t.  Our job is to accept their help, be honest about our need for help, lay down our self-sufficiency, and thank God for the blessing of fellowship and friendship.

Are you in need?  Reach out for help.  First, reach up to God, then reach out to others.  And remember:  we are overcomers.

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