DOES GOD TRY US WITH SICKNESS OR DISEASE? (Part 4)
PAUL'S THORN, WHOSE THORN?
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV) Please read in context the whole chapter.
We would discuss Paul's thorn in this capsule. Without a doubt this is the most commonly used scripture used by individuals to justify their view about their failure to manifest divine healing. Without going through any discussion yet, just think about it , if indeed this is true, that puts virtually everything God has promised on healing on a shakey ground , this cannot be true since the same Paul in the first chapter of the same epistle confirmed that 'all the promises of God, in Christ are yea and amen' (2 Corinthians 1:20) or that Paul was the exception to the rule! This too cannot be right because 'God is not a respecter of persons ' (Romans 2:11).
There are two other scriptures about Paul that have become snares but we will deal with them later. Coming back to 2 Corinthians 12, Paul stated that the reason he had this thorn is because of his abundance of revelations (read this in verse 1-4), some of these revelations were so great that he said it would be 'unlawful' to repeat them. Yet you will see all and sundry claiming they have the same thorn that is why they have remained sick, even people who for want of a better description have no clue about spiritual things. If you are going to claim 'thorn in the flesh' then you ought to have at least the same level of revelation comparable to that of Paul's.
This thorn was described as the messenger of satan. The word translated messenger was also translated angel 179 times in the NT. Notice that this was a messenger of satan , not a messenger from God . And the sole intent was to buffet Paul, that is make life difficult for him. One of the points that get people confused is the fact that God said 'My grace is sufficient for you' . From what we have discussed I believe that this thorn who is a messenger of satan is actually a person or an envoy of the devil persecuting Paul. The phrase 'thorn in the flesh' is used three times in the Old Testament and on each occasion referred to people or persons in the context of persecution (Numbers 33:35, Joshua 23:13, Judges 2:3)
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV)
The above scripture is one that is often ignored in christian circles, but will not go away. Imagine if God kills all our persecutors like some would desire. We would never have had Saul turned to Apostle Paul who wrote more than half the NT. See Matthew 5:10-12 , if you are walking and working in the power of Christ expect persecution, expect opposition. If you don't bump against satan and his agents it might just be that you are both moving in the same direction. The grace of God, His uncommon favour is more than enough to take care of business. The grace of God will insulate you and act like Teflon. We are not delivered from persecution but we are promised protection from its damaging effects
WHOSE THORN? IT'S SATAN'S THORN
In the next capsule we will bring this discussion to conclusion by looking at the infirmities referred to in verse 9 and also consider the other two scriptures in Galatians 4:13-14, 6:11