Suffering and Deliverance (Part 4) - Why God Allows Us to Suffer (Part C)


ii. Paul was longsuffering (2Ti 3:10). iii. Longsuffering n. - Patient endurance of provocation or trial; longanimity. iv. He wrote about his tremendous suffering so that Christians would have an example to follow. Consider the things he suffered (2Co 11:23-28): a. Paul received stripes "above measure" (v.23). (i) Stripe n. - 1. A blow or stroke with a staff, sword, or other weapon, with a missile, with the claws or hoofs of an animal, etc. 2. A stroke or lash with a whip or scourge. Now arch., chiefly in pl. 1. Whip n. - 1. a. An instrument for flogging or beating, consisting either of a rigid rod or stick with a lash of cord, leather, etc. attached, or of a flexible switch with or without a lash, used for driving horses, chastising human beings, and other purposes. 2. Scourge n. - 1. a. A whip, lash. Now only rhetorical, with reference to the torturing of human beings, or to ascetic discipline. 3. Lash n. - 1. a. gen. A sudden or violent blow; a dashing or sweeping stroke (obs.). b. spec. A stroke with a thong or whip. (ii) Above adv. - 7. Higher in degree; surpassing in quality; in excess of, beyond; more than. above all: beyond everything; first of all; chiefly. above measure: beyond or more than what is meet; in excess of moderation; excessively. (iii) Measure n. - II. Prescribed or limited extent or quantity. 10. What is commensurate or adequate; satisfaction (of appetite, desire, need). Obs. 12. a. An extent not to be exceeded; a limit. b. In advb. phr. beyond (above, without, over) measure, also out of measure, out of all measure (arch.): beyond all bounds, excessively. Formerly (esp. Sc.) used also predicatively = boundless, unlimited, excessive. (iv) Paul was whipped and scourged excessively far beyond what was called for for his supposed crimes. b. Paul was in prison frequently (v.23). (i) First century Roman prisons were dreadful places. (ii) They would have been dark, cold or hot, filthy, and very uncomfortable. (iii) Prisoners were often put in chains (Act 12:6; Act 21:33; Act 28:20; 2Ti 1:16) or in the stocks (Act 16:24). (iv) Stock n. - 17. Stocks, plu. A machine consisting of two pieces of timber, in which the legs of criminals are confined by way of punishment. (Webster's 1828) (v) Even when Paul knew that prison time and affliction awaited him, it did not move him because he didn't count his life dear unto himself (Act 20:23-24). (vi) Paul was an example to us to not be afraid of imprisonment for practicing our faith. c. Paul "oft" faced death (v.23). (i) Oft adv. - a. = often (ii) Often adv. - 1. a. Many times; at many times, on numerous occasions; frequently. Opposed to seldom. (iii) He indeed did face death or was nigh unto it often (2Co 1:9; Act 23:12; Act 27:20; etc.). d. Paul received 39 stripes from the Jews five different times (v.24). (i) The Jewish beatings were limited to 40 stripes (Deut 25:2-3). (ii) It was tradition for them to never exceed 39 stripes. (iii) Being beat with 39 strikes of a rod or a whip would be excruciatingly painful. (iv) These five beatings were in addition to the "stripes without measure" which he listed earlier (v.23). e. Paul was beaten with rods three times (v.25). (i) Rod n. - I. 1. a. A straight, slender shoot or wand, growing upon or cut from a tree, bush, etc. 2. a. An instrument of punishment, either one straight stick, or a bundle of twigs bound together. (ii) These beatings were in addition to the "stripes without measure" (v.23) and the five times he was given 39 stripes by the Jews (v.24). f. Paul was stoned once (v.25). (i) Stoned ppl. - 1. Pelted with stones. (ii) Stone v. - 1. a. trans. To throw stones at, pelt with stones; esp. to put to death by pelting with stones. (iii) It doesn't take much imagination to know how painful a stoning would be. 1. Have you ever been hit in the head or the body with a stone or even a baseball? 2. Imagine that pain, multiplied by 100, simultaneously. (iv) Paul was left for dead after being stoned in Lystra (Act 14:19). (v) After being left for dead, Paul rose up and went to Derbe the next day and preached the gospel there (Act 14:20-21). (vi) After preaching the gospel in Derbe and teaching many, Paul returned to Lystra where he had been stoned and confirmed the disciples there and exhorted them to continue in the faith and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God (Act 14:21-22). (vii) Paul suffered tremendously but nevertheless continued in the faith as an excellent example for us to follow. g. Paul suffered shipwreck three times (v.25). (i) This would have put him at his wits' end (Psa 107:23-27). (ii) He despaired even of life (Act 27:20). h. Paul spent a night and a day in the deep (v.25). (i) He was apparently floating in the ocean for 24 hours after one of those shipwrecks. (ii) That would have been miserable. i. Paul spent a lot of time journeying away from home (v.26). (i) He spent years away from home during his evangelistic trips. (ii) This would have been wearying and would have made him homesick. j. Paul was in perils of waters (v.26). (i) Peril n. - . a. The position or condition of being imminently exposed to the chance of injury, loss, or destruction; risk, jeopardy, danger. (ii) These perilous times in waters were likely in addition to the three shipwrecks he suffered and the night and a day he spent in the deep. (iii) After these frightening experiences, Paul continued his evangelistic trips because his faith had not been shaken. k. Paul was in perils of robbers (v.26). (i) Robber n. - 1. a. One who practises or commits robbery; a depredator, plunderer, despoiler. (ii) Thieves would not only take the victim's money and possessions, but would often badly wound him in the process (Luk 10:30). (iii) This would have caused Paul physical suffering as well as emotional suffering due to fear and anxiety. l. Paul was in perils by his own countrymen (v.26). (i) Countryman n. - 2. A man of one's own country, a fellow-countryman; a compatriot; usually with possessive. (ii) His countrymen were the Jews (Rom 9:3-4). (iii) The Jews persecuted Paul from city to city trying to have him killed (1Th 2:14-15; Act 13:50; Act 14:5-6, 19; Act 17:5; Act 18:12; Act 20:3, 19; Act 21:27-31; Act 22:22; Act 23:12).
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