Goliath Had a Brother
Here’s the scene: You are in a battle against sickness, oppression or some similar struggle. You seek God, and in some way the grace of God touches your life. Your victory may have come through a word or prayer or some other encouragement, but you absolutely know the Lord has delivered you. Using the five smooth stones of divine grace, you defeated your Goliath.
But then, a few weeks or months or perhaps years later, all the old symptoms suddenly return with a vengeance. If you were struggling with an illness, it manifests worse than ever; if your battle was regarding a relationship or a particular sin, it seems as though all progress has been lost. You are back to square one.
Have you ever been there? These negative experiences can drain the faith from your heart. You lose the anticipation and power of faith, and a spiritual paralysis immobilizes your soul. You may still attend church, but your faith is unresponsive. When others testify of deliverance, you worry secretly that they, too, will “lose their healing.”
For many, the result is one of faith-shaking disillusionment. Scripture says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12). This “heartsickness” is a spiritual disease that can cripple your walk with God. Remember, faith is the substance of the things you hope for; if you lose hope, your faith becomes hollow. How can you trust God when it seems as though He let you down? You wonder: “Did I lose my breakthrough, or was I only deceiving myself and never really had it?”
Dear one, it is very possible that what you are experiencing is not a loss of God’s blessing but an entirely new spiritual battle. This new war is a very clever and effective deception that Satan uses to try and worm his way back into the lives of those delivered by God.
I had been praying about this very thing, this recurring battle, when the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Goliath had a brother.” I was immediately reminded of David’s war against the Philistine giant. We all know that David became a great hero by trusting God and defeating Goliath. However, things changed as we see in 2 Samuel 21:
“Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant . . . intended to kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him” (2 Samuel 21:15–17).
Years after David conquered Goliath as a lad, after he became king he had to face other giants. In fact, 1 Chronicles 20:5 reveals that at least one of those warring against David was “the brother of Goliath,” and four were his children (2 Sam. 21:22). We can imagine that these giants, being Goliath’s kin, looked like Goliath, boasted like him, dressed like him and probably even smelled like him. The Scripture says that while fighting one of the descendants of Goliath, “David became weary” (2 Sam. 21:15). The Bible is silent as to what might have been going through the king’s mind as he battled these giants. Perhaps he wondered, “I thought I killed Goliath. What is he doing back?” But Goliath had not come back; he was dead! David was actually fighting the giant’s kin. It just looked like the same battle!
Likewise, you also have had many successful victories. Just because the current giant you are facing looks like one you defeated in the past, do not accept the lie that you never really won the first battle! By the strength of God’s grace, you trusted the Almighty and conquered your Goliath. The first giant is dead. Satan is masquerading as your former enemy so he can slip past your shield of faith and thus regain entrance into your life. Resist him. Do not accept the lie that you were never delivered. Stand in faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).
The living God who helped you conquer Goliath will empower you to overcome his brother as well.
Father, I come to You as Your servant. Like David, I have become weary with fighting an enemy I thought I had defeated. By the power of Your Holy Spirit, however, I expose the lie that this is the same foe I previously conquered. In Jesus’ name, I rebuke the enemy. I ask You, Lord, to send angels to strengthen me supernaturally, just as angels often strengthened Jesus. In the name of the Lord, Amen.
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Adapted from Francis Frangipane’s book, Spiritual Discernment and the Mind of Christ