May 29, 2006
My mom was a self-educated philosopher—so I thought. She was quick to remind us six kids that, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” I always wondered how she knew that.
What she meant by that statement was that we couldn’t fool her. She knew about all “that stuff”—after all, there is nothing new under the sun.
That statement was made a long time before my mom made it, and it was King Solomon who said in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
There is some comfort in knowing this, but no comfort when you think that terrible events and cruelty against people have always been as they are today.
It’s hard to imagine that fathers have always thrown their children out of hotel windows, or that mothers tossed their children off the Golden Gate Bridge. But, we know from history that such acts have been a part of the human condition since it began. We have access to so much information these days, it is hard to escape the global tragedies of even far away places.
In the context of King Solomon’s statement, he was reminding the people of Israel that without an eternal perspective, all of life is futile and without purpose. There are days when life seems to be an endless cycle of activity. Those days existed even back in 931 BC when King Solomon received a wise and understanding heart from God in order to rule the nation of Israel after the death of his father, King David.
Solomon was so smart, that the Queen of Sheba traveled a great distance to confer with him, mostly about how the King acquired his wealth—and kept it. Make no mistake; however, the Queen had acquired her own share of wealth along the trade routes.
We know from history that there is nothing new under the sun and that a life lived with purpose is more fun and more memorable than one with aimless expectations.
Mom agreed with King Solomon on that one too.