Sunday, January 7, 2018

the eloquence of silence

The Word for today:
2 Corinthians 12:11-21
The Bible is full of subtle proofs that man did not write it!  Here's an example:
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know-- God knows. And I know that this man--whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows-- was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.  (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
If a man had written this, he would not have stopped where Paul does. He would have laid it on thick, sensationalizing what he saw and glorifying himself in the process.
I don't pay too much attention to this kind of thing, but it seems that every year there's another book about someone who slips through death's door into heaven and then makes his way back to tell us all about it.
I don't believe a single syllable.
But if ever a person were to tell me that he'd seen Paradise but, sorry, he wasn't allowed to say anything more, that would be the person I would have to take seriously--because silence concerning such a matter would sound a lot like God:
It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (Proverbs 25:2)
That Paul would rather glory in his infirmities and not in the fact that he'd had a vision is another subtle but sure sign that the Author behind the "author" of 2 Corinthians is God.
Precisely what Paul's thorn in the flesh might have been is an enduring fascination among Bible commentators.  I mean, you just aren't a real Bible commentator until you've weighed in on that issue!
Which is kind of odd, considering God didn't weigh in on it -- when he knew what it was, having caused it.
So Stand in the Rain is going to treat this issue with silence, like God did. We don't know what Paul's thorn in the flesh was -- and we don't care to, because that's the point!
Scripture's silence is as sure a mark of inspiration as its revelations are.  Paul's particular "thorn" is not described in order that his consolations may avail for all to whom any thorn is given.
So in a very real sense, Paul's thorn in the flesh is the one you have.

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