“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.” ~Ecclesiastes 1:9
I have been pondering this verse. What does Solomon mean, “there is nothing new under the sun”? What about when telephones were invented? And tv? And computers? And Internet? All of these things were “new” at one time, right? Looking at verses 7-8, I was able to gain a little more insight: “All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. All thing are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.”
So Solomon is not meaning that there will not be new inventions – but when you boil it all down, what you are left with are worldly objects in which we seek pleasure. None of these things satisfy. We could go through our entire lives gaining worldly knowledge, rising to a higher status, basking in the praise and adoration of men, succeeding in the world’s eyes…yet when we die, “There is no remembrance of former thing, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after” (vs. 11).
It sounds like a dismal and depressing message, but it should make us shift our focus to what does truly satisfy. This earth is not our permanent home, and anything done apart from Christ will not last. “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” ~Colossians 3:1-3