We have reached the end of another year. I can hardly believe that we are looking at the opportunities and challenges of a new year when I am not done with the old one yet. Where did the time go? We are surprised at the technological advances of the past 50 years or so, and we tend to believe that we are doing things and making things that have never been done or made before. Yet, in the verses above, Solomon tells us that there is “nothing new under the sun.” The new year will turn out much like years in the past have turned out. Political campaigns will be organized. Wars will be fought. People will be born, and people will die. The cycle of life will be repeated over and over again, and this will be just one more year in that cycle. However, does that mean that air travel, automobiles, cell phones, computers, space travel, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, transplants and other scientific advances are not really new?
I’ve often wondered just how sophisticated cultures really were in the years before the flood. If people could live nearly 1,000 years, think of the knowledge and experience they would have stored up in their minds. We accumulate knowledge for 70 or 80 years and then have to pass the baton of knowledge to someone else. But if people lived 1,000 years, instead of having to re-learn everything often, they would only have to re-learn those things every 1,000 years or so. A man like Adam must have been very advanced in his understanding of the universe. But whether or not the technology that we enjoy was available before the flood, the desires of men and women, and the cycle of life were the same, even though it might have taken longer to go through a complete cycle from birth to death. One thing has not changed, and that is the fact that whether we die in infancy or at 80 or at 930 like Adam, 100 percent of us die.
And when we die, we don’t know if we will be remembered. We don’t know if any of our accomplishments are going to be appreciated. We don’t know if our heirs will use wisely any wealth that we leave to them. We don’t know if our children will miss us. That is why it is so astounding that 2000 years after the Lord Jesus died and rose again, He is still being remembered by some of us every Lord’s day, when we take a loaf of bread and a cup of wine and proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes (1 Cor. 11:26).
We know that the cycle of life will continue until the Lord sets up His new heaven and His new earth. Life could get fairly routine and pointless if we were not reminded at times that we who are true believers do have something new to anticipate. Some day we will be in a place where there is no more death nor sorrow nor crying nor pain. There will be no night there. No one who would defile that place will be there. Those who are abominable or detestable and those who lie will not be there. The curse that caused the first creation to groan will not be there.
But the Lord will be there (Rev. 21-22). He is the One who loves us, the One who died to be a sacrifice for our sins. There is really “nothing new under the sun,” but the Son has promised those of us who trust Him a new home in a place that He has prepared specially for us. And He will be there (Jn. 14:2-3).
By Bruce Collins
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org