The What-Abouts

By Tim Greenwood

We occasionally, receive two questions from sincere people that have been exposed to the traditional religious teaching concerning God's promises of healing and provision for us.  These two questions, and the passages they refer to, have all too often been used as a 'spiritual' fire extinguisher to quench the flame of hope and faith in the hearts of those that would believe what God says is true.  These two questions seem to always be preceded with two words.  Some use these words to simply ask, and others seem to 'throw down the gauntlet', with them.  The words are "What About ...", and for that reason we call these questions, "The What Abouts". 

The two questions are:

What about Paul's 'thorn in the flesh'?
What about Job?

WHAT-ABOUT Paul's "Thorn in the Flesh?"

Not one of those, that have ask me this question, has ever been able to tell me what Paul's thorn in the flesh was!  When pressed, they say that they heard that it was ..., and then I would hear everything from sore eyeballs to ingrown toenails! 

Now, let's READ the scripture for ourselves... 

(2 Cor 12:7 NIVTo keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger32 of Satan to torment me.

(2 Cor 12:7 KJVAnd lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh,  the messenger32 of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

From Strongs Concordance: 
32. aggelos, ang'-el-os; from  aggello [prob. der. from G71; comp. G34] (to bring tidings); a messenger; esp. an "angel"; by impl. a pastor:--angel, messenger.

Or, an angel of Satan, or the angel of Satan... a demonic spirit being to torment and buffet Paul. 
Now, WHO gave Paul a demon?  God?  Not MY God! 

It seems that this demon spirit that would go ahead of Paul and cause riots in the cities, cause people to begin stoning him, before he even opened his mouth and situations such as: 
(Acts 13:50-52) (Acts 14: 2-10) 

And concerning Paul's infirmities: 
The word Infirmities, in Greek, 772astheneia, can be simply and literally translated: "weakness". 

(2 Cor 12:9 KJV)  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness772. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities772, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (Note: Here weakness and infirmities are used in the same verse.  Both are the same Greek word. And, the same word is used in [2 Cor 11:30 KJV], [2 Cor 12:5 KJV] and [2 Cor 12:10 KJV].)

Paul had to learn as he went.  He did not have the advantage of learning from Jesus.  Most of what we read in his writings, he learned from the Holy Spirit by revelation. 

Paul asked three times for God to remove the burden of this tormenting messenger of Satan.  But, Paul was told, by the Holy Spirit, that God's grace, God's favor, God's willingness, that which God has already provided,  was sufficient or enough for Paul to take care of the problem himself, (James 4:7 '... Resist the devil and he will flee from you'.) (and, using the Name and Authority of Jesus)

And finally, in (Acts 28:30-31) Paul is delivered from "the thorn". 
For the first time since he preached at Antioch, Paul had freedom to preach the gospel to all that came to him, "no man forbidding him". 


If we ask God to protect us, he will 'build a hedge' around us, and as long as we believe in faith that we are protected , we will be.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  Fear, will open a gate in the hedge.  A gate that the Satan will enter if it is open. 

Job became highly blessed by God, prospering in every way.  And God had made a hedge around Job and all that he had.  Job was almost flawless in his obedience to God.  But when his children reached the age of accountability, Job began to fear, that if his children began to displease God, that his prosperity would taken away from him.  So what did he do?  Job began sacrificing one young bullock for each of his 10 children, every single day, as sin offerings.  That's 70 head of cattle each week!  Just in case!  Whether he knew of any sin, or not! 

Now Satan shows up in Heaven.  And God sees him and says, Satan, where did YOU come from?!  Oh, going, (like a lion), to and fro and up and down on the earth, (seeking whom I may devour) [1 Pet. 5:8]

God says have you considered Job?  Satan said that he had indeed, and that he was not able to get to him!  Satan said to God that Job would curse God to His face, if it were not for His protection and all his God given prosperity. 

Next God says, behold, (look NOW and see)!  The gate was ALREADY open, due to Job's fear, but Satan had not seen it yet.  Now, all that Job had was able to be reached by Satan, but God restricted Satan from physically touching Job. 

Satan attacked, stealing, killing and destroying, [1 John 10:10], all that Job had.  Yet, Job continued to worship God.  But too, Job feared all the more, leaving himself open to attack. 

When Satan shows up again, God said, 'Well, Job's not cursing me, in fact he's still worshipping me just like before!'  Satan said, 'Yes, but if his flesh and bones were violently attacked, he would curse You to Your face.'  And again, God said, behold, (look NOW and see)

Now, Job himself, was open to attack by Satan, but God restricted Satan from killing Job. 

Satan again attacked, this time with sickness, disease, plague, boil and itch.  Satan even used Job's wife to get him to curse God, saying that death was better than what he was going through, using the exact words God had spoken to Satan! 

Next Job's "friends" show up, and he begins to really say what is on his mind!  Including in chapter 3, verse 25: For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. 

Now, a lot more is said and done but in the end, Job only worshipped God and never cursed Him.  Plus, God saw to it that Job was repaid double for all that Satan took from him

To the above 'What-Abouts', we ask, "What-About Jesus?" 

Name or identify if you will, ONE person that Jesus refused to heal. 
Name or identify if you will, ONE person that Jesus told to endure sickness and suffering. 
Through the entire ministry of Jesus, He healed them ALL! (Mat. 12:15), (Luke 6:19) 
In fact, the only ones not healed, were from His home town, where they had no faith in what He said. 

Religious tradition says, "God uses sickness to humble us!" 
When the Bible says, 
(1Pet 5:6) "HUMBLE YOURSELF, under the mighty hand of God." 

Religious tradition says that God uses sickness to teach us, when the bible says, 
(2Tim 3:16) ...that SCRIPTURE, is given for our instruction! 

Religious tradition says
God The Son heals the sick, and God the Father makes people sick... 
(What is wrong with this picture!?)

(Heb 13:8 KJV)  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 
His purpose was to relieve us of our satanic bondages and burdens of sickness, disease and other oppressions.  And that is still His purpose today by what he did for us 2000 years ago. 

For more on what Jesus did for us see article: 'Gods' Love For You'. 

My answer to these What-Abouts is: 
WHAT-ABOUT The Woman with the issue of blood?
WHAT-ABOUT Jairus' daughter?
WHAT-ABOUT The centurions' servant?
WHAT-ABOUT The woman with a spirit of infirmity?
WHAT-ABOUT The man with the withered hand?
Need we continue?