If I asked you to name some giants in the Bible, I’m sure you’d start with Goliath, but what about Ishbi-benob, Saph, the unnamed giant with six fingers, or Goliaths brother.
We meet all of these giants in 2 Samuel 21 and they were all defeated by David and his mighty warriors. But we see a glimpse of David’s frailty in this passage as well:
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; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds, 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?”
David, the dynamic, fit, young King and warrior is now still dynamic, still faithful, still a leader, but now older and frailer and he nearly meets his end at the hands of Ishbi-benob.
What will the people do when they see weakness in their leader?
What do you do when you see weakness in those who lead whether that be in work, family, church, friendships.
I’d suggest it’s very easy for us to criticise and see the weakness as reasons to disqualify them from leadership. That’s the model so often portrayed in public office, where weakness and leadership don’t seem to be able to co-exist.
Abishai sets an alternative approach to dealing with a leader’s weakness:
He see’s a weakness in David that can be understood, David’s increasing frailty in old age, and rallies around his leader to supply what David cannot.
When David’s strength failed God protected him through the strength of others. God will allow us to be in places where we need the strength of others.