THE PESTILENCE THAT STALKS IN THE DARKNESS (JULY)
THE PESTILENCE THAT STALKS IN THE DARKNESS
The year was 1348. A ship floated in the busy waters of the harbor of Messina, Italy. It maneuvered in a strange manner as it neared the dock. When the harbor-master boarded the ship after it finally docked, he was met with an appalling sight: Nearly the entire crew was dead! They had strange, black, egg-sized lumps on them that oozed pus and bled prolifically. The ones still alive had high fevers and were vomiting blood, and most of them soon died.
The cargo that this ship carried was destined to change the course of world history. It wasn’t the grain and other goods. It was the rats that came ashore. Even more, it was the fleas on the rats. When the rats died, the fleas looked for other hosts- dogs, cats, horses, pigs… and humans. This ship, with its rats and fleas passed on The Black Death, or as we know it today, The Bubonic Plague.
Within four years the plague killed at least a third of the population of Italy and some reports say one half of the population of Europe! The city of Messina lost 80% of its population! Many men said goodby to a healthy family in the morning only to come home in the evening to find his whole family dead.
Soon, so many died that there weren’t enough living people left to bury the dead, so the bodies were stacked up like piles of wood or bales of hay! The stench in homes and in the streets was unbearable.
(These first paragraphs are paraphrased from Cathedrals, Castles and Caves pg 63 by Marcus Yoder)
The Bubonic Plague was considered the worst disaster in the history of the world, UNTIL… the “Spanish Flu” of 1918.
“The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than World War I, at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. It was a global disaster.”
-from Molly Billings, June, 1997 modified RDS Feb. 2005
The Spanish Flu spread far and fast because it hit just when the United States entered WWI. One article tells that a soldier in Kansas got the flu and it spread through the army camp. They were deployed to Europe and by the time they landed the whole ship was sick. They disembarked and went to their camps and infected everyone there! The infected soldiers went to the battle field and… there were more dead men in the trenches because of the flu than because of war.
I did a little research (emphsis on little) and learned that there have been many epidemics and pandemics throughout history. One article was entitled, “The 20 Worst Epidemics and Pandemics in History.” Here is the epidemic list with the estimated number of people who died as the last number: China, 3000 BC; Plague of Athens, 430 BC, 100,000 dead; Antonne Plague, 165 AD, 5 million dead; Plague of Cyprian, 250 AD, 5000 a day(!); Plague of Justinian, 541 AD, 10% of world population died; The Black Death, 1348, 25 million; Cocolitzli Epidemic, Mexico, 15 million; American Measles plague, 1500s, wiped out Incas and Aztecs; London Plague, 1665, 100,000; Plague of Marseille, 1720, 100,000; Phiadelphia Yellow Fever, 1793, 5000; Flu Pandemic, Russia, 1889, 1 million; Ameican Polio Epidemic, 1916, 6000; Spanish Flu, 1918, 500 million; Asian Flu, 1957, 1 million; AIDS Epidemic, 1981-present, 35 million; Swine Flu, 2009, 1.4 Billion cases(!), 500,000 dead; Ebola, 2014, 11,000; ZIKA Virus, 2015; Corona Virus, 2020, still counting…
During this current Corona Virus pandemic, I have made some observations. One is that I am beginning to think that some of our leaders and politicians are not totally honest (radical thought, I know). The numbers change. The rules change. The experts change. The experts told us that 2.2 million are going to die. A week later they adjusted it to 200,000. Then to 60,000. I don’t know how many have died, but when I do hear the figure, how do they expect me to believe it?! I also wonder why these “experts” are considered experts? They were wrong by a factor of 36 times!
Another observation: Every pandemic lied about the number of deaths. The Spanish Flu got its name because Spain told the truth about Flu deaths. Germany, Italy, England, Russia, and the US all suppressed the actual numbers so as to not discourage the soldiers or give the enemy the idea that were weak, but since Spain was not involved in the war, they told the truth and the world thought the flu was only in Spain!
The current Corona numbers are also lied about, this time by inflating them, either for political or financial reasons. It seems that anyone who dies is written up as “COVID-19.” Is this pandemic real? Yes! Is it serious? Yes. Should we be careful? Of course. Should we do everything the government tells us to do? Well…
We will get through this (see 20 epidemics, paragraph 7 above). God is not taken by surprise. He is in control. “You shall not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday…” Ps. 91:5,6 Note also: “Fear not” appears 365 times in the Bible. Once for every day of the year.