Maybe I should have included today’s “trial” in Paul’s life … right alongside yesterday’s “hard” situation. Even he did that: “in hunger and thirst.” Still part of 2nd Corinthians 11:27. The word “and” is a conjunction, showing “linkage.” Paul does not use “and” many times in his whole litany here.
Nevertheless I have separated these two “discomforts.” So today (in our Lesson) we learn that Paul was tortured by “thirst.” Based on the whole tenor of the list, “often” in thirst. He seems to number the events that occurred less frequently. As back in verse 25: “Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep.”
Note this too. The numbers were still growing! The Book of Acts meticulously records another time Paul was “stoned,” at Lystra. As well as another shipwreck, on the voyage to Rome as a prisoner.
Paul … “in thirst.”
The Greek word (the noun) is “dipsos,” and is only used this single time in the New Testament. However, it’s verbal form occurs 3 times in Matthew 25:35-42. As here: “For I (Jesus) was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I WAS THIRSTY (“dipsao”) , and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.”
It means: “to suffer from thirst.”
Paul (and likely his traveling company as well) … all thirsty!
With no access to water, not safe water anyway.
When did this occur?
We do not know.
We are left to advancing “suppositions” at best.
But let this be understood, no doubt exists regarding the accuracy of the report. Paul did thirst, dangerously so it seems. The Bible is divinely inspired, without error.
Perhaps Paul was in a flood somewhere, with raging filthy water everywhere. No clean water to be found! Thirst gnawing in his body.
Maybe again when he was imprisoned (years and years of his life) some jailor or guard refused him decent food (happened often) and water. Dark and damp and hungry … plus the corollary deep thirst.
Maybe Paul’s body was ravaged with infection (malaria raged in many areas where they preached)! Burning with fever! Thus, thirsty! Nearly unquenchable thirst!
It touches my heart that one of the greatest Preachers who ever lived … did not demand luxury … in his day to day affairs.
He was willing to “endure hardship” for Christ’s sake.
Thus practicing his own advice: “Thou therefore ENDURE HARDNESS, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” 2nd Timothy 2:3
Yes, Paul loved our Lord!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell