Giants: a Sermon to Young People
2 Samuel 21:15-22
Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him…

As for these four, they were born to the giant (Ha-rapha) in Gath, and fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants (ver. 22). Of the age before the Flood it is said, "In those days were the giants [Nephilim, men of lofty stature and ferocious character] upon the earth" (Genesis 6:4; Numbers 13:32, 33). At a subsequent period there was a like formidable race called Rephaim (Genesis 14:5; Genesis 15:20), to which belonged the Emim, the Zuzim (Zamzummim), and the Anakim (Deuteronomy 2:10, 11, 20, 21; Deuteronomy 9:2). One of this race, of extraordinary stature, was Og, King of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:10; Joshua 12:4). Others, more recently, dwelt among the Philistines (Joshua 11:12), like Goliath (1 Samuel 17:4-11) and the four here mentioned, who were either sons of a celebrated giant (the Rapha) or descendants of the original founder of the tribe. They were all idolaters and formidable opponents of Israel. And there are giants among us now. I do not mean such ogres as children read of in story books; or such harmless persons of exceptional height as are sometimes seen; or even such as appear in any bodily form; but, nevertheless, real, powerful, and terrible giants, aptly represented by "these four" slain by David and his heroes.


1. An ancient family; as old as sin, and came into the world with it. It survived the Deluge; spread, among the dispersed nations, over all the earth; had one of its principal settlements in Canaan; and, amidst all the conflicts and changes of mankind, has continued to this day.

2. An ungodly family. None of its members believe in the living and true God or obey his commandments; yet they have many gods (1 Samuel 17:43).

3. A selfish family. They all seek their own, and often contend against one another.

4. A numerous, mighty, and destructive family. They have their walled cities and strongholds, defy the armies of the living God (ver. 21), and sometimes terrify them (1 Samuel 17:1-11) by their imposing appearance and evil doings (Psalm 14:1-3; Romans 3:10-18). What is this giant Family? You have doubtless already discovered that it consists of sins, vices, and wickedness of all kinds.

II. THEY ARE KNOWN BY VARIOUS NAMES. Here are long lists of them (Matthew 15:19; Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5-9). But notice especially these four:

(1) Pride, or undue self esteem and contempt of other persons (vers. 16,17). The name Ishbi-benob signifies "my dwelling is on the height;" and was possibly given to him because he had his castle on a lofty, inaccessible rock. The brazen head of his lance was eight pounds in weight; and, arrayed in new armour, he resolved to kill David, and nearly succeeded; but was himself smitten down by the aid of Abishai. Pride is haughty, self confident, contemptuous, and presumptuous. It has overthrown many mighty men; and is an ungodly, selfish, and most dangerous adversary. "Be not proud'" (Jeremiah 13:15; 2 Samuel 22:28; Obadiah 1:3, 4; James 4:6).

(2) Falsehood, or deceit (1 Samuel 21:1-8). "There was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob [Gezer]: then Sibbechai the Hushathite [1 Chronicles 27:11] slew Saph [Sippai]." This is a double-faced giant; exceedingly crafty, mean, and mischievous. "Lying lips are abomination to the Lord" (Proverbs 12:22; Revelation 21:8).

(3) Hatred, or ill will; and (in various forms) envy, revenge, anger, and strife. "Elhanan, the son of Jaare-oregim [Jair] the Bethlehemite [ch. 23, 24] slew Goliath the Gittite" - possibly a son of the giant whom David slew, and of the same name; or (more probably, as in Chronicles), "Lahmi the brother of Goliath, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam." He is a powerful, fierce, and obstinate foe; and only by the strength which God gives [Elhanan] can he be overthrown.

(4) Dishonesty; "a man of stature [measure or length] that had on each hand six fingers, and on each foot six toes, four and twenty in number" etc.; slain by Jonathan, David's nephew (1 Samuel 16:9; 1 Samuel 17:3; ch. 13:3). He has a powerful grasp; covets, seizes, and steals the possessions of others, in defiance of right and justice. There are many other giants, such as

(5) Ignorance,

(6) Sloth,

(7) Intemperance,

(8) Impurity,

(9) Profanity,

(10) Infidelity,

(11) Superstition, and

(12) Idolatry.

III. THEY MUST BE FOUGHT AGAINST AND OVERCOME; in their onslaught upon ourselves and others. If we do not conquer them, they will conquer us. And we can conquer them only by:

1. Faithfully following "the Captain of our salvation;" obeying his commands, and depending on his might.

2. Incessant vigilance and firm resistance.

3. Ever renewed and courageous effort.

4. Confident assurance of victory, inspired by many promises, the presence of our Divine Leader, and the success which has been already achieved. "These conflicts of David's servants are typical of the spiritual combats of Christ's soldiers with the family of the evil one" (Wordsworth). "Fight the good fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12; 1 Samuel 13:1-7; 1 Samuel 14:1-15). - D.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint.

WEB: The Philistines had war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. David grew faint;

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