We live in Central New York, where sunshine is worth its weight in gold. It’s funny how sunny days lift your spirits. In the springtime when the sun shines, car windows come down and elbows protrude. Lawnmower engines are heard, and basketball bouncing sounds emerge on the audio landscape.
Overcast skies, well they change things. Of course we here in upstate New York are used to the grey over our heads. Frequently that’s the way it is…nothing new under the sun.
I began reading the book of Ecclesiastes this week in my devotional time. Solomon writes early on in the first chapter verse nine, “So there is nothing new under the sun.”
You have to go into the book of Ecclesiastes understanding where King Solomon is coming from. If you don’t, much of what you read becomes like overcast skies…gloomy. As C.I. Scofield wrote, “Ecclesiastes is the book of man ‘under the sun’ reasoning about life.” Scofield explains that Solomon is expressing “that which is empty, without permanent value, that which leads to frustration”.
Clearly the wisest human on earth was not telling us to “throw in the towel”, because he writes in chapter two verse 24, “There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.”
At first glance Solomon’s Ecclesiastes (meaning “preacher”) seems to be a dichotomy. All is vanity, yet life is worth its rewards. But simply put, when all is said and done, we need to realize that God has written “eternity in our hearts”, and this is just the beginning of it all. Hear Solomon’s conclusion:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Here in upstate NY, the cloudy days will likely always be, “nothing new under the sun.” But then again, that’s life here in the northeast, and ecclesiastically speaking, that’s life for the whole world.