Was Solomon right, that there is nothing new under the sun?
King Solomon--arguably the wisest man who ever lived (outside of Jesus), made many profound observations about God, man, the world, and life in general. One of his more well-known statements includes these words:
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now." (Ecclesiastes 1:3-8 NLT)
In the modern era in which we live, we are surrounded by technological marvels that once seemed impossible. A mere four or five generations ago, the notion of men walking on the moon; the ability to witness that event on a box in one's living room; traveling around the world in a matter of hours; or two people on different continents chatting face-to-face, would have seemed nothing short of sorcery. So then, with all the new technology that surrounds us, it would seem that Solomon was wrong. Or....was he?
Consider this fundamental but rarely pondered truth: every object ever made by man, from Adam's day down to ours, was formed from materials taken from the earth--materials which have been here all along. Whether the products are made from wood, metal, plastic, paper or a synthetic material, everything made by man came from something made by God. Your house, your car, clothes, watch, money, computer...everything was made from materials that were here long before man was even created.
Let's take that a step further. The progression of inventions such tanks, machine guns, rockets and nuclear-tipped missiles also come from materials mined from the earth. So then, in a very real sense, the creation of these modern weapons--along with every other example of technology, could have been produced thousands of years ago. The only thing missing then, that we have now, is the knowledge to create them. Since the materials have always been available, today's technology could have existed in the first few centuries of man, had he only known how to design and manufacture them. We know that the early descendants of Adam had already pioneered the art of forging of brass and iron, and the making of tools, well before the time of the Flood (Gen 4:22). So, what prevented technology from rapidly progressing beyond that point thousands of years ago?
We read in Genesis 10 of the ill-fated tower of Babel, whose construction was exploited by the Devil to unite and galvanize the early descendants of Noah and his sons around a common cause; a joint project designed to be a proud symbol of their unity and solidarity—a unity of men who opposed to the rule of God over them. Knowing the evil heart of man, and where this unity of secular humanism would lead, God supernaturally divided the single language shared by the people into several languages, stopping the project dead in its tracks by making cooperation of its construction impossible. Denied the means of social interaction, the people grouped together according to their respective languages, and gradually migrated eastward from the region of Babel, eventually settling in the lands that would come to be named for their various tribal leaders--as laid out in Genesis 11.
But, let's suppose that God had not intervened. How soon might man's unity and collaborative efforts have facilitated the development of modern technology? How soon would man have pooled his knowledge to produce the stunning, world-changing inventions he is capable of--giving no thought as to whether he should? How long ago might the modern, potential dangers of technology such as nuclear warfare, have been unleashed upon the world? How long after the repopulation of the earth after the Flood, might it have again been destroyed by a man made nuclear holocaust--the potential for which scientists even today constantly monitor by means of the "doomsday clock?"
Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937), is considered the father of nuclear physics. Building on earlier theories about the structure of the atom, he hypothesized a workable atomic model, and in 1908, successfully split an atom in his "gold foil experiment," which became the key that unlocked the door to nuclear fusion. Only about 50 years later—mostly because of Einstein's genius and the collaboration of a diverse array of scientists, the intellectual brilliance of man betrayed the innate savagery inherent in his fallen human nature, when it unleashed upon the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the horrors of the first Weapons of mass destruction. The era of nuclear destruction went from imagination to horrific reality in just half a century. We can see in this, what the Lord meant when He said of the people at Babel:
The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (Gen 11:6 NIV)
What makes modern science and technology possible? Simply put, we are at our current level of technology only because scientists from many nations were able to pool their knowledge; to blend their personal insights, concepts and theories into the soup of modern, global, scientific knowledge. Technology has been built, layer upon layer, over the course of several generations, by many nationalities united in a common purpose. And only one thing makes that possible: Communication. That’s why the Lord put a stop to the unity mankind had abused. Had He not done so, the self-destructive bent of mankind may well have destroyed the earth thousands of years before the path had been prepared for His Messiah’s advent.
Today, the language barrier God constructed in the days of Nimrod to forestall the progression of technology no longer exists, and there is now no spoken language that cannot be interpreted. The barrier no longer exists, and the technology does exist only because God chosen it to be so. The same materials necessary to make jet fighters and laser-guided, nuclear-tipped missiles were here thousands of ago, when men waged war with swords and battleaxes.
The difference is, now man has the knowledge necessary to procure and manipulate those raw materials. And, as we've seen over the last century, knowledge and technology unchecked can snowball with unimaginable speed when not stayed by the hand of God. There have been more technological advances in the last 100 years than in the previous 5000 years combined. We are living in the era of the fulfillment of the final prophecy which the angel Gabriel described to Daniel:
Men shall go to and fro in the earth, and knowledge shall be increased. (Dan 12:4)
Today, many nations possess nuclear warheads; and we live in an era in which cities can be decimated in a matter of minutes—all at the push of a few buttons. World War III will not be fought with conventional weapon like the first two, but could literally wreak global destruction upon the earth capable of transforming it into a primitive wasteland. Is it any wonder the Lord removed man's ability to exploit his unity at Babel, before he reached the point where he could achieve anything his depraved mind could conceive? It is even possible that Jesus was speaking of His return cutting short such nuclear destruction by the intervention of His glorious return at the battle of Armageddon:
In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God's chosen ones. (Matt 24:22)
So then, we have now come full circle: mankind is once again seeking unity apart from God, as globalists, using economic and political manipulation, draw the nations of the world into a global alliance diametrically opposed to the will of God. Today it is not a brick and mortar tower that galvanizes the people, but global concerns: Global Warming fear-mongering, a planned wealth redistribution via Cap & Trade, and ever-increasing yet unstable economic interdependence are the new tower of babel, drawing the nations of the world together toward a utopian, one world government--heralded by its architects as the dawn of a new age of peace and enlightenment via human government--if only the yoke of God can be cast off, together with the intolerance of Christianity which divides mankind, so that the power and wisdom of mankind united, can be allowed to shine forth, and be the dawning of that grand, perceived era.
And soon, a modern-day Nimrod, will rise to prominence, taking his seat upon the throne of world power that is being built by the globalists today--a man who will dominate the world for an appointed season, imbued with the throne, power and authority of Satan to persecute the people of God, while leading the Christ-rejecting people of the world blindly down the path of eternal destruction. And this time, God will allow it to happen...because it will be the right time.
Nothing will ever happen until God is ready for it to happen. Likewise, when His is ready for something to happen, nothing can stop it. The stage is set, the actors are taking their places, and the final act is about to begin. Soon, the Devil's proxy ruler will make his grand entrance--shortly before God brings to a close, the epic drama of mankind's redemption, and will bring down the curtain on Satan, his ill-fated kingdom, and those he has blinded to the truth of the Gospel.
So yes, Solomon was right. There is nothing new under the sun. Modern, man-made things are simply the manipulation of very old materials. Yes, DNA can be recombined, new chemicals such as pharmaceutical products can be produced by combining specific atoms; and highly sophisticated electronic products can be manufactured. Yet anything man can create or bring about is "new" only in the sense of a new sculpture being carved out of an ancient rock.