Everyone knows that flea-carrying rats were to blame for the Bubonic Plague, right? Wrong! After years of being falsely maligned, chalk one up for the rat lobby. Rats are finally being vindicated for their worst public relations nightmare in history…wiping out 1/3 of Europe’s population in the 14th century.
According to researchers at the University of Oslo in Norway, the much-maligned rat is probably not to blame. Who is? The Gerbil! That’s right…the adorable little gerbil.
Of course, the real culprit, that claimed somewhere between 75 and 200 million people, is actually the flea. But, according to new evidence, fleas jumped from Asian trade route gerbils, not merchant ship rats, to European pack animals to humans. So…gerbils carried the fleas, not rats! Meanwhile, cute, loveable gerbils have escaped justice…until now.
Now, I’m not really interested in rats and gerbils. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of either. But what I can’t help but notice is how easy it was to blame the rats and never question the conclusion.
I imagine we all do it.
It is so much easier to blame something that seems blameworthy rather than spending the time and effort to ferret out the real culprit. And here’s the kicker…when it comes to sin, (fleas if you will) we all have them! We are to blame for the plagues in society today!
It would be so easy to point our finger and say, “the world is to blame,” or “those people of that race or religion are to blame,” or “those sinners are to blame.” But the truth is a whole lot closer to home. It may even be hiding among those adorable things we love.
“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death” (James 1:14-15).
Let’s stop blaming others for our sins and fess up that we have a few deadly “fleas” of our own. Then we can start asking God for forgiveness, which He freely and gladly gives to those who seek Him.