Due to my two episodes of bargaining with God over my prostate condition; for which I am now shameful having been rebuked, I have heard the Lord say, ‘My grace is sufficient for you.’ Later that day or was it the next day I heard a podcast that spoke of the grace of God; therefore, I have been led to 2 Corinthians 12. I have become intrigued by the verses surrounding the above quote and have been drawn to this passage by the Holy Spirit. But not only to blog in a topical manner but to dig down deep into the text using the skills of exegesis and to some extend scholarly insights. Hence, I put on my prophetic teachers hat.
Having said the above I have prayed and sought the counsel of the Holy Spirit flinging myself on the wisdom and knowledge of the Spirit of God as James 1 exhorts us to do.
I know it would be foolish of me to ignore the context and setting that this verse quoted above is found. Paul has been explaining to the Corinthian church, using the third person that he or some other person, has been to the third heaven and seen revelations and mysteries that no one can share. Because of this he has been given a thorn in the flesh to stop himself becoming conceited. Verse 7.
Paul says that He was given a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan.
From this I hear the Lord say
1/ Paul knew he was given this thorn for a reason.
2/ He was given this thorn; with the emphasis on ‘given’ – the Greek meaning is ‘to give one something to his advantage – a sense of a gift.
I believe we must be careful when using the phrase ‘thorn in the flesh’ to describe an aliment or a buffering that we are experiencing. Do we know explicitly why we have been given the thorn? Do we regard it as an advantage to us?
Many Christians and we have all met them, who wear this idea of a thorn in the flesh as if it were a badge of honour, as if they have earned ‘brownie points.’ Which somehow sets them apart from the ‘hoi-polloi.’ This is not the thought expressed in this passage nor scripture. We must rightly divide Gods word under the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit
Paul was given a thorn. The Greek word is used here can also mean a stake with the sense of being impaled, which has been adopted by many, but in the LXX the word clearly signifies a thorn – Numbers 35:55. But an ailment that is referred to here is not known and there has been numerous attempts to pin point Pauls illness, suffice to say we do not know and neither in my opinion is it important. Speculation is not becoming a student of scripture.
A messenger of Satan recalls the first chapter of Job, although in this case it was an angelic being from Satan’s hierarchy that continued to torment him, perhaps daily as the Greek tense is in the present. Paul was clear in his source of the torment, it was from Satan. Never attribute a ‘thorn in the flesh’ as coming from God, or for that matter any form of sickness, suffering or any form of ‘boxing’ either to mind or body. God does not torment us for our own good.
Well there is much more to blog here, but I have enjoyed this research and have been blessed by such. I pray that you the reader has been blessed also and if there has been encouragement and revelation I am overjoyed.
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Enjoyed all as well. Thank you.
I agree. Things such as sickness, suffering and death do not come from God. They are the consequences of living in a sinful, fallen world and they come from the enemy!
So what happens when we place these things into the hands of God? He transforms them. We see healing. We see victory over circumstances. We see the weak become strong. We see the weary not only run but soar. We are a living, breathing testimonies that Jesus Christ has overcome death, hell and the grave.