Is there anything new under the sun?
[Darris McNeely] You've heard the phrase, "The more things change, the more they stay the same". We've been doing a series on Ecclesiastes and I thought about that statement a few weeks ago. My wife and I were driving away from a small town in Indiana that we were scouting out for a Beyond Today program. The town is called New Harmony, and in that town some people, two hundred years ago, had engaged in a utopian experiment to build a perfect little town, a perfect community. In fact, New Harmony, Indiana, was the site of two such attempts to create a perfect town. We used it as a backdrop for a Beyond Today program that we were doing and will air in a few weeks about the subject of utopia – a place that really, truly can't exist, but there have been so many efforts, and this is what my wife and I commented on as we drove out of that town that afternoon, that the more things change, the more they stay the same. How many efforts have been made in communities and in locations for people to come together and create a perfect world, a perfect society? And they all usually end in failure, as these had done there in Indiana, they just didn't succeed.
It reminds me of the scripture in Ecclesiastes 1:10 Ecclesiastes 1:10Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it has been already of old time, which was before us.
American King James Version×that says, really in a question, "Is there anything of which it may be said, 'See, this is new'?" "No," is the obvious answer. Everything has been done. Everything in many ways has been tried, and certainly when it comes to creating perfect conditions – a place where people have a utopia, as our program will show, and as so many other efforts will prove – it just hasn't worked, it hasn't been done. And what happens in the book of Ecclesiastes, as this rhetorical question is put forth, in rather a kind of a negative sense – it really comes back around as the author brings it together into a positive sense, because in chapter 3 and verse 14, it says this: "I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken from it. God does it, that man should fear before Him" ( Ecclesiastes 3:14 Ecclesiastes 3:14I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God does it, that men should fear before him.
American King James Version×). And so, you have to dig into the scriptures, and in this case, to find the answer to the question, "Is there anything of which it may be said, 'See, this is new'?" Well, as human beings go, we do tend to run in circles, and our efforts become cyclical without success. But God – what God does, it succeeds.
And that's one of the messages from the book of Ecclesiastes, is that when we put it in God's hands, when we do it God's way, His will, His purpose will stand and it will prevail. Whether it comes to creating a utopia or the everyday aspects of our own life, living and breathing from the very depths of our being the way of God, His way, His truth, God will do it and it will endure.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.