him. Notice how he put it to the Galatians:
"You know that how
through infirmity of the flesh
I preached thegospel to you at first."What "infirmity of the flesh" did Paul preach the gospel through? Not sickness, he preached through the consequences of "reproaches", "persecutions", and "distresses for Christ's sake:" (v10), and that is what his "thorn" was, people, who were inspired by "themessenger of Satan", persecuting and reproaching him.
#7.2 THE REASON WHY PAUL WAS GIVEN HIS"THORN"
2 CORINTHIANS 12:7 (Paul)7 And
lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of therevelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh,
the messenger of Satan to buffet me,
lest I should be exalted above measure.
Note: The reason why Paul was given his "thorn" was because of the abundance of revelations that he had. Paul said that his revelations came directly from Jesus (Galatians1:11-12), and he had so many that he was able to write a large portion of the NewTestament. Once he was caught up into the third heaven where he heard "unspeakablewords, which is not lawful for a man to utter." (2 Corinthians 12:2-4), and a person insuch a position would be very vulnerable to be flattered and praised by people, who couldcause him to be exalted and snared by the devil. Thus to counter the temptation to beexalted, God allowed people to persecute Paul to keep him humble. If Christians who aresick, think that they have Paul's thorn, then we need to ask "what abundance of revelations are you having?" because without them there was no need for his thorn, wasthere?
#7.3 THE MEANING OF "A THORN IN THEFLESH"
NUMBERS 33:55-5655 But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shallcome to pass, that
those that you let remain of them
pricks in your eyes, andthorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land in which you dwell.
56 Furthermore it shall come to pass,
I shall do to you, as I thought to do to them.JOSHUA 23:11-13 (Joshua)11 Take good heed therefore to yourselves, that you love the LORD your God,12 Else if you do in any way go back, and cling to
the remnant of these nations,
these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in to them, andthey to you;13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out
from before you; but
they shall be snares and traps to you, and scourges inyour sides, and thorns in your eyes,
until you perish from off this good land which theLORD your God has given you.JUDGES 2:2-3