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The word that Paul used for "thorn" however is found only once in the Scriptures, by Paul. It is pronounced skol-ops and means a pointed piece of wood, i.e. a goad. Did Paul use that word because someone was goading and harassing him? It seems quite possible, particularly since he includes in the statement "the messenger of Satan to buffet me." Satan literally means accuser.
"There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me"
Paul's Ministry was one of the most productive and fruitful that ever was. He was given to see and understand things that very few other people ever have.
"12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; such an one caught up to the third heaven. 12:3 And I knew such a man, whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth; 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 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." (2 Corinthians 12:1-6 KJV)
Whether it was a natural result of being well-known, or whether it was prescribed by The Lord to keep Paul humble ("lest I should be exalted above measure") is not entirely clear. But what is certain is that righteous Paul was grieved by whatever, or whoever, manifested that "messenger of Satan."
"12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations [see Apocalypse], there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 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. 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."
Fact Finder: Why does it become easier to sin, when one is trying the hardest not to sin?