There is Nothing New Under the Sun
The book of Ecclesiastes speaks to life as we experience it today as well as life back in Biblical times. It addresses the many things people pursue to achieve happiness and how these things fail in the end. Sounds a little depressing, perhaps, but heeding this message brings us back to a solid faith in God (rather than Self) in this world that we are merely passing through.
The writer of Ecclesiastes makes the contrast between the meaninglessness of life that occurs whenever one tries to do things his own way. Activities that look like they would bring happiness (such as achieving wealth, knowledge, wisdom, or whatever) all turn out to be just “chasing after the wind.” The results never last and the achiever inevitably concludes that there is “nothing new under the sun.” He realizes he cannot out-do what has already been done even though he spends his entire life trying to do so.
In the author’s account, he acknowledges the fact that God is the one who is in control of life and gives some pointers on how we must treat God. In the third chapter, he starts off saying, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.” In the second part of verse three, we read these profound words as well, “…a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Again, in chapter five, verses two and three, he further instructs his readership with these words, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words.”
God is the Author of Our Lives
What would God have us learn and apply to our lives today? Much like the writer of this book, we tend to take matters into our own hands and forget this is the season God has given us. Human beings are like that. We immediately step up with new ways to communicate (Zoom, Facebook Live, MS Teams, and the like) and pat ourselves on the back for our ingenuity. We forget there’s a time to be “silent” and think only as there being a time to “speak.” We certainly do not grasp the concept of letting our words be few. On the contrary, our words are more plentiful in this time of stress than perhaps ever before.
So what we learn from Ecclesiastes for our lives today is this: What we are going through is nothing new under the sun. We must acknowledge God as the author of this current season and agree with Him that we do not have to take matters into our own hands. We need to be silent and let our words be few when we come before God because—as the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us—God “is in heaven and we are not.”
We must always remember that we rely on God, not man, to get us through this season that He has given us.