For over 100 years Seventh-day Adventists (and many other students of Bible prophecy) have recognized that The Dark Day of May 19, 1780 was a fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:29. “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’”
Now wired.com has recognized that this day had great significance as well. See article at http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/05/dayintech_0519?npu=1&mbid=yhp.
Some people have felt that if the Dark Day was caused by forest fires, and because it was so long ago, it would no longer be the sign Jesus referred to in Matthew 24 (and Mark 13:24). But they overlook these important points-
- Most of the other signs Jesus referred to in Matthew 24 can have a more shallow physical or sociological explanation as well (wars, love growing cold, famines, diseases, etc.). The cause of a sign doesn’t keep it from being a sign of Jesus’ return.
- The timing of the Dark Day is highly significant. According to Jesus it would come “after the tribulation of those days,” refering to the persecution of the Dark Ages. In 1780 Bibles were more readily available and Bible prophecies were now gaining great recognition.
- The location of the Dark Day is highly significant. A new nation, built on democracy and religious liberty, was being born and all the world was watching. When The Dark Day took place druing the United States War for Independence it become international news.
- The Dark Day and FAlling of the Stars after a period of widespread religious persecution seem to be markers for the other signs of Matthew 24. After 1780 (and the Falling of the stars in 1833) all the other signs of Jesus’ return began to dramatically increase in frequency and intensity. (wars, famines, earthquakes, loss of love toward others, etc.). This is probably why Jesus refers to the signs being as “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8), which any mother can tell you, increase dramatically in frequency and intensity as the baby is about to be delivered!
- The Dark Day took place 208 years ago this year. If Jesus came back in the next 50 years, and if the earth would then be about 6050 years old, this would be mean that the Dark Day would have taken place in the last 5% of earth’s history. For those who don’t like a short earth history, and prefer, let’s say, 10,000 years or longer, then the sign of the Dark Day would have taken place in the last 2% or less of earth’s history!! It seems like it happened so long ago because we are used to instant everything today. But it is truly recent history.
Though it likely has no prophetic significance, it is interesting that the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980, which darkened the northwestern US, covering it in ash, was only one day early from being the 200thanniversary of the Dark Day, when the northeastern US was darkened, perhaps by ash.