2Co 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
2Co 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
2Co 12:5 Of such a one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
2Co 12:6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
2Co 12:7 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.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 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.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2Co 12:7 –
By reason of the exceeding greatness (tēi huperbolēi). Instrumental case, “by the excess.” That I should not be exalted overmuch (hina mē huperairōmai). Present passive subjunctive in final clause of huperairō, old verb to lift up beyond, only here in N.T. This clause is repeated at the end of the sentence. Thayer Definition:
1) to give
2) to give something to someone
2a) of one’s own accord to give one something, to his advantage
2a1) to bestow a gift
2b) to grant, give to one asking, let have
2c) to supply, furnish, necessary things
2d) to give over, deliver
2d1) to reach out, extend, present
2d2) of a writing
2d3) to give over to one’s care, intrust, commit
2d3a) something to be administered
2d3b) to give or commit to some one something to be religiously observed
2e) to give what is due or obligatory, to pay: wages or reward
2f) to furnish, endue
3) to give
3a) to cause, profuse, give forth from one’s self
3a1) to give, hand out lots
3b) to appoint to an office
3c) to cause to come forth, i.e. as the sea, death and Hell are said to give up the dead who have been engulfed or received by them
3c) to give one to someone as his own
3c1) as an object of his saving care
3c2) to give one to someone, to follow him as a leader and master
3c3) to give one to someone to care for his interests
3c4) to give one to someone to whom he already belonged, to return
4) to grant or permit one
4a) to commission
Just as with Job in the Old Testament,Paul was GIVEN ACCESS to this HUMBLING THORN,A LITERAL SATANIC SPIRIT THAT GOD USED TO SUBVERT ANOTHER SATANIC ATTACK AGAINST PAUL CALLED PRIDE,WHICH WOULD HAVE RUINED PAUL’S MINISTRY TO OTHERS.This is one of the Bibles greatest truths,and MOST NEGLECTED,THAT GOD USES SATAN TO DO HIS BIDDING,EVEN WHEN IT IS AGAINST SATAN’S OWN PLAN. This is how God controls the strongman,by USING him to OUR ADVANTAGE!
HOW DID PAUL FEEL REGARDING THIS?
1) it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure
1a) think it good, choose, determine, decide
1b) to do willingly
1c) to be ready to, to prefer, choose rather
2) to be well pleased with, take pleasure in, to be favourably inclined toward one.
Paul after a time of NOT understanding what was going on,came to realize that God’s WILL WAS PERFECT and His plan was the right one!
A thorn in the flesh (skolops tēi sarki). This old word is used for splinter, stake, thorn. In the papyri and inscriptions examples occur both for splinter and thorn as the meaning. In the lxx it is usually thorn. Thayer Definition:
1) a pointed piece of wood, a pale, a stake
2) a sharp stake, splinter
It is VERY CLEAR THAT THIS THORN WAS A PERSON NOT AN INANIMATE OBJECT OF SICKNESS. The point is never that God gave paul a SICKNESS,BUT THE THORN HIMSELF COULD HAVE CAUSED PAUL MANY SUCH THINGS LIKE SICKNESS,PERSECUTIONS,etc. GOD NEVER CAUSES THESE THINGS TO HAPPEN TO PAUL,THE THORN CAUSES ALL THE PROBLEMS!
Thayer Definition:MESSENGER OF SATAN.
1) a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God
1) adversary (one who opposes another in purpose or act), the name given to
1a) the prince of evil spirits, the inveterate adversary of God and Christ
1a1) he incites apostasy from God and to sin
1a2) circumventing men by his wiles
1a3) the worshipers of idols are said to be under his control
1a4) by his demons he is able to take possession of men and inflict them with diseases
1a5) by God’s assistance he is overcome
1a6) on Christ’s return from heaven he will be bound with chains for a thousand years, but when the thousand years are finished he will walk the earth in yet greater power, but shortly after will be given over to eternal punishment
1b) a Satan-like man
Messenger of Satan (aggelos Satana). Angel of Satan, the affliction personified. Buffet (kolaphizēi). See Mat_26:67; 1Co_4:11 for this late and rare word from kolaphos, fist. The messenger of Satan kept slapping Paul in the face and Paul now sees that it was God’s will for it to be so.Thayer Definition:
1) to strike with the fist, give one a blow with the fist
2) to maltreat, treat with violence and contumely
2Co 12:7 – There was given me – By the wise and gracious providence of God. A thorn in the flesh – A visitation more painful than any thorn sticking in the flesh. A messenger or angel of Satan to buffet me – Perhaps both visibly and invisibly; and the word in the original expresses the present, as well as the past, time. All kinds of affliction had befallen the apostle. Yet none of those did he deprecate. But here he speaks of one, as above all the rest, one that macerated him with weakness, and by the pain and ignominy of it prevented his being lifted up mere, or, at least, not less, than the most vehement head ache could have done; which many of the ancients say he labored under. St. Paul seems to have had a fresh fear of these buffetings every moment, when he so frequently represses himself in his boasting, though it was extorted from him by the utmost necessity.
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN TO PAUL?……………………… Thayer Definition:
1) to lift or raise up over some thing
2) to lift one’s self up, be exalted, be haughty
3) to carry one’s self haughtily to, behave insolently towards one
PRIDE IS THE MOST PREVALENT DISEASE IN THE CHURCH TODAY,ABOVE ALL OTHER SINS,IT’S EFFECT HAS RUINED MANY MINISTIES..BECAUSE IT IS PRIDE AND PRIDE ALONE THAT CAUSES MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD TO THINK OR ACT IN WAYS THAT THEY WOULD OTHERWISE NEVER THINK TO ACT BEFORE A HOLY GOD. PRIDE BLINDS US THE TRUE WILL OF GOD IN FAVOR OF OUR WILL! We the Church of the LORD JESUS must realize that it is NOT by our own talents or abilities that God does what he does,it is ONLY by and through our own PERSONAL WEAKNESSES that God moves the hearts of the World to come to him. It is through the PERSONAL WEAKNESS WE HAVE IN TEMPTATION,KNOWING THAT WE HAVE NOTHING WITH WHICH TO OVERCOME IT THAT GOD CREATES HIS POWER TO OVERCOME ALL..THAT’S RIGHT ALL SIN,…….SIN CANNOT STAND BEFORE THE WEAKENED FLESH AND SOUL OF A CHRISTIAN MAN OR WOMEN THAT HAS GIVEN UP ALL THAT THEY ARE TO HIM FOR IT IS THEN AND ONLY THEN THAT THE RECREATED HUMAN SPIRIT IS RELEASED TO IT’S FULL POTENTIAL TO OVERCOME SIN AND SATAN!!! Thayer Definition:INFIRMITIES
1) want of strength, weakness, infirmity
1a) of the body
1a1) its native weakness and frailty
1a2) feebleness of health or sickness REMEMBER,IT IS ONLY WHEN WE ARE AT OUR WEAKEST POINT THAT GOD’S RELEASE OF POWER HAPPENS..BECAUSE IT IS AT THAT POINT THAT ALL OUR WORKS CEASE AND HIS CAN BEGIN,JUST HOW WEAK WE BECOME DEPENDS ON US AND THE LEVEL OF PRIDE WE HAVE IN OUR SOUL!!!
1b) of the soul
1b1) want of strength and capacity requisite
1b1a) to understand a thing
1b1b) to do things great and glorious
1b1c) to restrain corrupt desires
1b1d) to bear trials and troubles
Remember always that ALL sin,sickness and disease is a result of the PRIDE of man in the fall…it was NOT a part of what God termed “VERY GOOD” in His creation. DO NOT EVER BLAME GOD FOR THAT WHICH WEAKENS MAN,IT IS GOD’S DESIRE FOR US NOT TO REMAIN WEAK BUT TO GAIN TRUE STRENGTH BY ACTING AS JESUS WOULD ACT IN ANY GIVEN SITUATION,AND IF WE DO NOT WE ARE IN PRIDE!!!
The point here is not who causes it but rather what can be GAINED BY ACCEPTING THE FACT THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL NO MATTER WHAT WE THINK ABOUT THE CIRCUMSTANCE WE ARE IN.
2Co 12:10 – Weaknesses – Whether proceeding from Satan or men. For when I am weak – Deeply conscious of my weakness, then does the strength of Christ rest upon me.
2Co 12:9 –
He said (εἴρηκεν)
Rev., correctly, He hath said. The force of the perfect tense is to be insisted on. It shows that the affliction was still clinging to Paul, and that there was lying in his mind when he wrote, not only the memory of the incident, but the sense of the still abiding power and value of Christ’s grace; so that because the Lord hath said “my grace,” etc., Paul can now say, under the continued affliction, wherefore I take pleasure, etc., for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong. A more beautiful use of the perfect it would be difficult to find in the New Testament.
The best texts omit my, thus turning the answer into a general proposition: strength is perfected in weakness; but besides the preeminent frigidity of replying to a passionate appeal with an aphorism, the reference to the special power of Christ is clear from the words power of Christ, which almost immediately follow. Compare 1Co_2:3, 1Co_2:4; 2Co_4:7; Heb_11:34. Rev., rightly, retains my italicized.
May rest upon (ἐπισκηνώσῃ) Only here in the New Testament. The simple verb
σκηνόω to dwell in a tent is used by John, especially in Revelation. See on Joh_1:14. The compound verb here means to fix a tent or a habitation upon; and the figure is that of Christ abiding upon him as a tent spread over him, during his temporary stay on earth.
For Christ’s sake
This may be taken with all the preceding details, weaknesses, etc., endured for Christ’s sake, or with I take pleasure, assigning the specific motive of his rejoicing: I take pleasure for Christ’s sake.
NOTICE THAT WEAKNESSES MUST BE ENDURED ONLY FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST,THE ANOINTING IS ALL IMPORTANT. IF WE ARE NOT SUFFERING BECAUSE OF OUR DEFENSE OF GOD’S ANOINTING WITHIN THEN OUR SUFFERING IS PRIDEFUL AND USELESS TO PRODUCE GOD’S STRENGTH! IN OUR WEAKNESSES WE ARE NOT…DID YOU HEAR ME? NOT…TO CALL ATTENTION TO OURSELVES,THAT IS PRIDE…WE ARE TO PRAY FOR GUIDANCE FROM GOD TO GAIN DELIVERANCE IN OUR TIME OF NEED!