Nothing New…Under The Sun

Why do we keep records and statistics?

Does it matter if this day was hotter, or wetter, or stormiest than a prior day in history? When did that storm hit? And was it worse than a recent one? Yearly CalendarThe weather forecaster often tells us how the days temps compare to this time in some past date, and the only time I’m interested is when it’s showing the worst it could be (hottteeeerrr) or the best it could be (Colder!)

What I have particularly noted these past few days – the records and statistics are just about where I expect them to be.

There are no surprises!

The sun peeks over the horizon at known and published times, the moon is full when we expect it to be, and the stars never lose their place in the heavens. I peek out the window, and yes, Mt Rainier is still poking up into the skies! Those skies are still blue. Clouds are still fluffy, and my dogs are still excited to see me.

This is a mighty big place we enjoy, and there is no reason to ever expect a huge divergence from what we know.

Around us we see are continuing disasters. Wars. Death. Mayhem. When it comes to humanity, nothing seems to stay the same. The morals and values of prior generations are being manipulated. Technology adjusts our life patterns. And babies are continuing to be born.

While it may be true there are a few surprises along the way (the prodigal returns, a baby is new in life, and something unexpected happens at just the right time…), I have concluded, life is really no different between what we experience today, and what has happened in the past. Why am I not surprised? This has been noted for thousands of years.

Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 ESV (1) The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. (2) Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. (3) What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? (4) A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. (5) The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. (6) The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. (7) All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. (8) All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. (9) What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (10) Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us. (11) There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after. (12) I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. (13) And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. (14) I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. (15) What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be counted. (16) I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” (17) And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. (18) For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

A generation goes, and is replaced by the next one – but the earth remains forever!

The wind blows in its direction and comes all the way back. The streams keep flowing into the sea, but the sea never fills up, nor do the rivers ever quit.

What has been is what will be. What has been done is what will be done…

There is nothing new under the sun!

“See, this is new!” But really, it has been here for ages.

The words of the preacher ends out his discourse in this book by telling us how to live our lives, even when it seems there is no change.

ScrollThe end of the matter;
all has been heard.
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 ESV)

The main thought I have, there is security in “nothing new”… There is no new thing to know, nor are there surprises that might frustrate our future. No Zombies. No Aliens. No space exploration. There is nothing new. In fact, God never changes (Malachi 3:6), and Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

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