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Thorn in the Flesh

by on November 25, 2013

 

Has God given you a “thorn in the flesh”? Has God allowed Satan to buffet you by giving you a “thorn in the flesh”? That was the experience of the Apostle Paul.

What was Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”? That is the perennial question. Bible students have pondered and debated this question for many years. Many students have posited possible answers to the question.

I believe that Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was false teachers, false apostles, and false brethren in the Church. That subject is an underlying theme in Paul’s writing in the New Testament. The theme is so underlying that it can be easily missed. It is not Paul’s primary theme but, it is there.

Nothing is quite so disconcerting and discouraging as false brethren. These are people who subvert and control and accuse falsely and manipulate and mislead the people.

Paul told the Galatians that he had begotten them through the gospel and now they were bewitched by false teachers. The false teachers attempted to mislead the infant believers. Paul asks if he must give birth to them again.

David endured Saul in his life. Why? Why would God have allowed Saul the freedom to pursue David and attempt his death? Why? There seems to be no reason. Why would God allow His kingdom to struggle against such odds? God has reasons known only to Him. God does, however, use those situations to build His kingdom and those He has chosen to build with Him.

Those experiences are tests to prove character. It proved the character of Saul and it proved the character of David. Saul did not miss opportunities to attempt to take David’s life. David did not take opportunities to take Saul’s life.

Godly men and women today will face the same distressing situations. Why? It is God’s way to make them His people.

 

We also glory in tribulations,

Knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and

Perseverance produces character, and

Character produces hope.

Now hope does not disappoint,

Because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts

By the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

 

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