Have you ever had a great idea? I mean, you're out and about doing the normal everyday routine when all of a sudden you have an epiphany -- an out-of-body, revolutionary, existential, life-transforming idea. You think to yourself, "Self, what great thought thou hath wrought!" In that moment you feel as though the world will now somehow be a better place because of this new idea or invention you are about to present to it. Somehow, what once had been hidden from mankind in space and time has been revealed to you, and you have been tasked with the great responsibility of initiating this great wave of change that will be inaugurated by the 'great idea' you just had. And so you rush to seek out your most trusted friend, share this treasure of momentous insight with them, to which they respond...
"That's already been thought of."
Fret not - you're in the company of the rest of humanity. Granted, there have been many great inventions and seemingly new ideas throughout the history of mankind. Every generation brings to the table a method or a machine to make all our lives a little more simple, effective, exciting or meaningful. There is seemingly no end to 'newness' each and every day of our lives. And yet, as is typical of a fallen world, things are rarely what they seem, and that feeling of failure over our 'new' idea is a niggling reminder of the true state of things.
Solomon, the "preacher", lays it out plain and simple in Ecclesiastes 1:9-10 when he says:
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. Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us.
Nothing new. Perhaps that's a statement that drives you into a funk. Just keep reading and you'll find Solomon admitting that pretty much everything is vain repetition - the ebb and flow of creation, generation begetting generation, the acquiring of wisdom, the building of cultures, the efforts of daily labor, prosperity and poverty, and on and on the list goes. There seems to be a constant seeking but never finding. In light of all this, what is man to do - throw up our hands and give up?
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
God alone is the source of all things new, and following His initial six days of creation He rested (Genesis 2:1-3). But the newness of His creation was corrupted by man's sin and ever since that fateful day humanity has been striving to reclaim that which was rightfully removed from us. Newness. We desire it like we desire something to worship, and yet like worship we seek it in places far from our Creator. Indeed, because of sin there is no longer anything new under the sun.
But along comes a greater Preacher with this message: "Behold, I am making all things new." (Rev. 21:5)
Jesus Christ has secured for His redeemed a new way (Heb. 10:20), a new life (Rom. 6:4), a new birth (1 Pet. 1:3), a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), a new heavens and a new earth (2 Pet. 3:13), a new covenant (2 Cor. 3:6), a new song (Rev. 14:3), new thoughts and attitudes (Eph. 4:23), a new name (Rev. 2:17), a new body (2 Cor. 5), and a new relationship with God (Rom. 5).
Still finding yourself enamored by the new in an old world? It's a spirit vs. flesh battle that we will continue to fight. Just remember to fear and follow God, for He has promised that the new is coming (and has come!). It may not be new for you, but the Gospel ('good news') certainly is for many you already know, those who desperately need to hear it. Want to be excited about something new? This is it. Don't keep it a secret.