Thorn on the flesh

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Craden319

New member
Apr 20, 2019
11
5
3
#1
What do you personal get from God reading this scripture?

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭
 
Jul 10, 2018
283
23
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#2
Sounds like he still struggled with sin though he was called to preach the Gospel.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
38,766
11,006
113
#3
What do you personal get from God reading this scripture?

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭
I talked about this today....it is clear cut enough and I have come to the conclusion that each and every saved child of God, especially the weak, base, foolish things of the world that are called to confound the wise have a thorn in the flesh to keep us all from exalting ourselves above measure.....I have things in y life that I am as strong as can be on and will NEVER compromise and I also have weaknesses that I fail with that keep my eyes on JESUS and that make me beat my chest while begging for mercy unto me a sinner.........
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
8,201
1,400
113
#4
The text, if simply taken at face value, seems to indicate a physical malady.

But if we're looking to extract a principle, there's no reason we can't extrapolate it out to encompass any weakness that forces us to rely on God.

You would think ALL humans, by virtue of being human, would have more than enough weakness to remind us to rely on God.
But since our natural weaknesses aren't always enough to overcome our pride, God may need to give us extras.

That may be why I have 3 heads, fins, and tentacles.

..
 

MattforJesus

Senior Member
Apr 15, 2017
1,898
275
83
#5
What do you personal get from God reading this scripture?

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭
God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.

Pride goeth before a fall.

The LORD has respect unto the lowly, but to the proud He is afar off.

This scripture has nothing to do with sin in Paul's life, and has nothing to with Paul being arrogant.

The thorn in the flesh was given as something like preventive medicine, so Paul would not get arrogant.

Paul was not arrogant before the thorn, but he was shown an abundance of revelations from God, and God worked mightily in Paul's life, that God gave Paul a thorn in the flesh so he would not get arrogant, for if he did think himself something great because God worked mightily in his life then God could not use him, for He resists the proud.

God wanted to make sure that Paul stayed humble, which the Bible says if we think we are something when we are nothing we deceive ourselves, and how can we brag as if we did not receive it, but got it on our own.

Many people that claim Christ may think they are something special for living for God, and may look down on other people, and think higher of themselves than what they should, but God resists that kind of behavior.

God did not want Paul to get arrogant, so He gave him a thorn to keep him humble.

So Paul said concerning the thorn, I will glory in my infirmities, for when I am weak, then I am strong, for the power of Christ rests upon me.

If you keep yourself humble your life will be a whole lot better.
 

Sipsey

Active member
Sep 27, 2018
286
139
43
#6
It would seem we are unable, by ourselves, to stay humble. We all have those good days, but consistency seems our weakness. Jesus said we can do “nothing” without Him, and even our humility is in need of His assistance.
 

TheLearner

Active member
Jan 14, 2019
934
230
43
#7
I think it was bad eye sight or pain in the eyes.
 

oldhermit

Senior Member
Jul 28, 2012
8,705
358
83
65
Texas
#8
Let us open up the context of chapters 11 and 12.
The context is Paul's defense of his apostleship. If one is able to boast according to the standard of the flesh, then he has more reason to boast than anyone else and he begins to compile a list of reasons to prove why this is true, 11:16-28. Beginning in verse 22, he says, "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I." These are all genealogical factors that he has in common with all other Jews. Then in verse 23, he begins to set forth a list of comparisons in which he is proven to excel above them all. "Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if insane) I MORE SO; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death."

24. “Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.”
25. “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.”
26. “I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;
27. “I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.”
28. “Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches."


From 11:29 through 12:8 he stresses the fact that these are all things Paul regards as weaknesses of the flesh. These are things that are hard to endure and that he had the right to boast in the fact that he has suffered in the flesh more than all of them. In 12:6 he says that he does not wish to boast in these things, "... but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me."

In verse 7, he gives the paramount reason for his capacity for boasting which was "the surpassing greatness of the revelations." To keep him from boasting and exalting himself in this he was given a "thorn in the flesh." The "thorn" represents something that is external to the flesh but that is intrusive to the flesh. In spite of his petition from God to remove it, God says "My grace is sufficient for you." It is not through Paul's own power that he is able to endure these suffering that have been imposed upon his flesh (not to mention the psychological stress that accompanies these types of experiences), it was the grace of God that enabled him to endure them and to continue to preach in spite of them. The connecting statement that links all of this to gather is in verse 10 when he says, "THEREFORE." Whatever he says next is rooted in everything he has said up to this point and he connects it to the thorn that was given him. "Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. Why? Because "when I am weak THEN I am strong." The thorn made him weak. Grace made him strong. NOW, he is able to rejoice in his sufferings - in his thorn.

So, because of the "the surpassing greatness of the revelations," Paul was allowed to suffer all of these hardships - thorn in the flesh - in order to keep him from exalting himself. One is not so likely to be self-exalting when he is having the hide stripped from his back with a scourge or having to go hungry or floating around in the sea or having his bones broken from being beaten with rods or lying in a pit left for dead after having been stoned. God allowed these things so that Paul would learn humility in spite of the exalted status that God had granted him. Remember what God told Ananias in Acts 9:16 "I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake."

I know this is a very brief exegesis of this text and I certainly do not claim it to be infallible. It is possible that I have missed it but, it seems to me that Paul has been very clear in explaining the nature of the thorn that he had been given. If anyone has a better exegesis of this text than this, I am certainly open to correction.

His problem with his eyesight has been a favored speculation even among many commentators. We do know from Gal. 6:11 that Paul seems to have had some type of deficiency with his eyes but the nature of what the thorn was seems very clearly defined in the context of 2Cor. 12. Paul uses three different descriptive terms all of which refer to the same thing. He calls it a 'thorn in the flesh', a 'messenger from Satan', and 'my weaknesses'. These weaknesses are not of a singular nature. They are described as insults, distresses, persecutions, and difficulties all of which are in the plural. I do not doubt that his seeming deficiency with his eyes would certainly fall within this menagerie of weaknesses. The 'thorn in the flesh' is simply a descriptive term which he employed to describe a host of things he was called to endure for the cause of Christ. Their purpose was to keep him humble in the midst of his exalted position. It is hard to be proud and self-exalting when someone is beating the hide off of your back with a scourge or breaking your bones with rods or stoning you. These types of experiences are by their very nature, humbling.
 

Guojing

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2019
1,214
238
63
#11
When someone say you are such a pain in my neck, I hope no one interpret that as literally you are afflicting someone’s neck.
 
K

KnowMe

Guest
#12
someone did not want Paul to be exalted, thus many more would have received what Paul preached but his life wasn’t peachy.
 

dcontroversal

Senior Member
Dec 12, 2013
38,766
11,006
113
#13
The text, if simply taken at face value, seems to indicate a physical malady.

But if we're looking to extract a principle, there's no reason we can't extrapolate it out to encompass any weakness that forces us to rely on God.

You would think ALL humans, by virtue of being human, would have more than enough weakness to remind us to rely on God.
But since our natural weaknesses aren't always enough to overcome our pride, God may need to give us extras.

That may be why I have 3 heads, fins, and tentacles.

..
Or.....ONE eyeball...... HAH
 
K

KnowMe

Guest
#14
The stoning of Paul is quite interesting, the persecution happened wasn’t stopped but God’s strength was in Paul’s weakness, He raised him up the next day to continue preaching bruised and beaten.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
4,664
1,545
113
#15
What do you personal get from God reading this scripture?

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭
Paul had a sin he struggled with.. It was to stop him from getting puffed up and proud.. He asked God to remove that sin but Gods reply was that His grace was enough to cover it..

In context::

2 Corinthians 12: KJV
7 "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. {8} For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. {9} 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."

Note all the sins of the world where placed on Jesus when He died on the cross to atone for them.. Remember what was placed on top of His head? A Crown of Thorns
 
K

KnowMe

Guest
#16
Paul had a sin he struggled with.. It was to stop him from getting puffed up and proud.. He asked God to remove that sin but Gods reply was that His grace was enough to cover it..

In context::

2 Corinthians 12: KJV
7 "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. {8} For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. {9} 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."

Note all the sins of the world where placed on Jesus when He died on the cross to atone for them.. Remember what was placed on top of His head? A Crown of Thorns
Scripture doesn’t say Paul struggled with sin but infirmities, and the crown hurt it was a infirmity.
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
4,664
1,545
113
#17
Scripture doesn’t say Paul struggled with sin but infirmities, and the crown hurt it was a infirmity.
Gods grace, the atonement of the LORD Jesus Christ is not to cover us for physical sicknesses it is to cover us for our sins.. God said to Paul that his grace was sufficent for Paul in this matter.. So the issue was a sin..
 

Deuteronomy

Well-known member
Jun 11, 2018
896
834
93
62
#18
What do you personal get from God reading this scripture?

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”
‭‭II Corinthians‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭
Hi Craden319, taken by itself (but knowing God's intentions for those of us who are His .. e.g. Romans 8:28), I would say that God will do what is necessary to 1. advance the Kingdom of God (especially if you consider that is was Paul who He was speaking to in this case and 2. sanctify us/grow us up in Christlikeness/make us more and more like His Son, just like He promised us that He would .. e.g. Philippians 1:6; 2:13; Hebrews 12:7-12.

Taken in context......

2 Corinthians 12
7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!
8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.
9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

.......I would at least add this much as well:

Spurgeon - Rock of Ages.png
~Deut

"Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering.... The love of God did not protect His own Son.... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process." ~Missionary Elisabeth Elliot
.
 
K

KnowMe

Guest
#19
Gods grace, the atonement of the LORD Jesus Christ is not to cover us for physical sicknesses it is to cover us for our sins.. God said to Paul that his grace was sufficent for Paul in this matter.. So the issue was a sin..
Infirmity isn’t used as being a sickness, yes He didn’t heal Paul’s bruises and cuts but gave him strength to get up the next day.
 
K

KnowMe

Guest
#20
Acts 14
19Then some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, presuming he was dead.20But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. And the next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

They thought they stoned him to death, that’s a pretty bad beaten.