by John Barnett

This content is part of a series.

Warned and Rewarded (24 of 40)
Series: Book You Can Trust
John Barnett

We all are surrounded each day by warnings of every kind; that bothersome seat belt alarm in our cars, the smoke detectors when the toast gets stuck in the toaster, labels on food warning that it has too much fat or sugar and so on!

Radiation, sun, and air are all dangerous, we are warned. But life goes on. Some warnings are true and some we aren't sure about. This morning we can all put our natural suspicions and aversions to warnings down, and let the Lord through His Word teach us about God's Warning System!

So many times people have been misinformed and actually steered the opposite direction they needed to go for safety. The Lord never does that. He is TRUTH and LOVE. His warnings are right every time.


The Great Plague (4) that infected London in the seventeenth century began innocuously enough with a few isolated cases in May 1664. One year later in that same month, 590 cases were reported, but ignored. By June the number swelled to 6,137. Panic ensued as the figure rose to 17,000 in July. Like stampeding cattle, two-thirds of London's population fled their homes as the deaths totaled 31,000 in August, 1665. But that was only the beginning. By the time the Plague was brought under control, more than 70,000 Londoners had been buried or burned.

What caused this catastrophe? The infinitesimal bites of fleas carried by diseased rats. Back then, however, people thought badsmelling air was the problem, so they carried sweet-scented posy petals in their pockets to ward off the disease. Hospitals even walked patients around rose gardens hoping to cleanse their lungs with the flowers' fragrance. This cured no one, of course, and it's said that one man sang these words as he piled the victims onto his pushcart: Ring around the roses, A pocket full of posies;
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down. (5)

Ironically, this parody of calamity is now sung all over the world as ...

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