It has been interesting to watch the trends in fashions, home decorating, movies, and even human behavior and to witness the truth presented by Solomon a couple millennia ago that “There is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). As one person put it (in the Today In the Word devotional from Moody Bible Institute, January, 2017), “We seem to be living in a cultural time of the reboot. Classical television shows such as Star Trek and MacGyver are remade. Popular music styles from the 1960’s have come back and clothing fashions from past decades parade down catwalks and sidewalks” (If you hang on to you wardrobe long enough it is sure to be stylish again one day!) Even many big-budget movies are sequels or updated versions of old classics like Ben-Hur and Christmas Carol. We have also noticed the same trend in home interior decorating. When we grew up, if you had the financial resources, you would have beautiful wood-grain doors, trim and cabinets. If you couldn’t afford that, you had just painted boards. Well, guess what—now to keep up with the modern trend, you paint over your beautiful wood gains and turn them into “just white boards!”
If you read through the Book of Judges in the Bible, you also see a repeated pattern. It has been called “The Dark Ages” of Israel’s history. During that 350-year period before they had a king, a period of national deterioration following the death of Joshua, we see a cycle of Sin, Servitude, Supplication, and Salvation—or, Disobedience, Discipline, Desperation and Deliverance—that is repeated over and over. It seemed that they just didn’t get it. They seemed to learn nothing from their mistakes and just kept repeating them with the same outcome. According to some, that is, by definition, “insanity.”
Unfortunately that also seems to be the history of mankind. As has been said, “If there’s anything we learn from history, it’s that we learn nothing from history.” You would think that seeing the consequences of turning one’s back on God and “doing your own thing” (Judges 21:25) would prevent us—whether as a nation or individual—from following the same path, but that’s not the case. People and nations continue to forsake God and try to live on their own terms, repeating the same sins over and over with the same results.
But, whether as an individual or a nation, it is always possible to stop the cycle and put God back in His rightful place and experience the blessings of walking in fellowship with Him. God, in speaking to King Solomon of Israel, said: “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14). During the Old Testament history of Israel, during the time of the kings, there were times of repentance, revival, and renewal and blessing, but eventually all of Israel became spiritually corrupt and God judged the tribes of the north (Israel) at the hands of the Assyrians and the tribes of the south (Judah) at the hands of the Babylonians and the Jews were scattered and never had a nation again until 1948! Even now, while there are many individual Jewish believers, the nation is living in rejection of Jesus as her Messiah. Again, “there is nothing new under the sun.” But that will end one day soon when the Messiah, King Jesus, returns. In Ezekiel, God promises: “For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn to you …Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God…I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation ..and they will no longer defile themselves with their idols…or with any of their transgressions…and they will be My people, and I will be their God. ..and the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever” (Ezek. 36:9,26-28; 37:21-23,28).
Three times in Isaiah we read that the LORD will “do new things” (Isa. 42:8; 43:19; 48:6), so there will—in the future—be “something new under the sun.” In fact, “according to His promise, we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (II Pet. 3:13 cf Rev. 21:1) There will be no more crying, or pain or death, for “the first things (will) have passed away” (Rev. 21:4). And speaking of “nothing new under the sun,” we won’t even need the sun in heaven, “for the glory of God will illumine it, and its lamp (will be) the Lamb” (Rev. 21:23).
Meanwhile, as we await the Lord’s return and the restoration of Israel, we can individually have new lives in Jesus Christ and escape the cycle of sin and servitude by asking Christ to come into our heart as Savior and Lord. When we do that, we become “new creatures in Christ; the old things passed away; behold new things have come” (II Cor. 5:17). We are set free from bondage to the old sinful flesh and do not need to serve it any longer but can “walk in newness of life” (Ro. 4:4). So, there really can be something new under the sun. Have you experienced that new life in Jesus Christ? If not, invite Him in today and let Him be Lord of your life. It will change your present life and give you a glorious and bright future with God in the eternal ages to come in the new heavens and new earth.