WHAT IS REALLY WORTH STRIVING FOR?
9 Whatever has happened is what will happen, and whatever has been done is what will be done, and there is not anything new under the sun. 10 Is there a thing of which it is said, “Look, this is new”? It has happened already in the ages before us. 11 There is no legacy of those former things, nor will there be a legacy of later things yet to happen among those who come after.
The old Solomon looks back on his career as an innovator and remembers all those “new” buildings he built – all those “new” alliances he formed, etc., and he realises just how fleeting those innovations were. His conclusion is that everything a person might attempt has really happened already. Believing otherwise is just self-delusion.
Why would someone want to spoil the hopes of a future generation like that? Well, it is clear that Solomon is not trying to get his listeners to stop trying new things. He just wants them to stop putting all their hopes of fulfilment in their projects. The true legacy of any generation is not what they accomplish, but who they were.
LORD, in all our seeking for new things, help us to stay firmly grounded in our relationship with you – the ancient of days.