There is nothing new under the sun

Column on Christianity, religion, spirituality and God.

In all the literature of the ages, the Psalms of the Bible have taken their place in the highest echelon of poetic writings.

These chapters in the divine library have touched the intellect and emotions of humanity throughout the running years.

The human heart identifies with and finds instruction, comfort, hope and help in these God inspired songs. Men in sin, sickness, sorrow, destruction, devastation, distress, trials, tribulations and triumphs have discovered answers to their deep questions and light for their pathway.

The music of these spiritual songs has plucked the heartstrings of hurting, helpless souls and their melodies have set the feet to dancing. Some are songs of the morning looking forward to the challenges of the day. Some describe the activities of the moment. Others are songs of the evening looking back over the day now past.  Still others are songs of the darkness of night longing for the dawn to appear.

The fourth Psalm is an evening song. The day has drawn to a close and the singer who began the day in grave circumstances declares that God gave him relief when he was in distress. Now, upon his bed he ponders in his heart the blessings of the day and is silent.  People had said that there was no help for him in God. The day proved them wrong. The experiences of the day enabled him to say that God is great.  The singer instructs those who are dissatisfied in life to put their trust in the Lord.

He continues: “There are many who say, ‘Who will show us some good?’”

That question is as ancient as it is modern. Judging from the pages of the history of man, humanity is one in all ages.  There are changes that take place on the great stream of human life but they are only surface changes. The deep things, the underlying things of human life never change. There are changes in ways and means, in manners and methods, but underneath is the same human nature, asking the same old questions, making the same old complaints.

Today humanity is faced with the same problems men grappled with since Adam and Eve were put out of the garden. History repeats itself and throughout the process of the ages the same problems surface again and again. Man attempts to answer them, finds he cannot, and abandons them to sink into the tide and be washed away and forgotten in the waves of time.

The problems reappear and we call them “new,” only to discover there is nothing new under the sun and eventually man finds that, in himself, there is no lasting or satisfying answer.

Who will show us some good?  That is the speech of a man who is dissatisfied. Whether he looks back, gazes at the present or peers into the future, he sees nothing but bleak and dreary hopelessness. It is the language of restlessness and emptiness.

Who can show us any good?

The question is being asked today by people in every strata of society.  The rich who have “been there and done that”; the poor in the many and varied circumstances of poverty; healthy and ill; successful and failures are all asking that same question.

The very fact that people in such opposite circumstances are all asking the same question indicates that there is some underlying malady that is independent of circumstances and affects them all. Their question is really just another way of asking, “Is life worth living?”

The answer to the question is that God can show us good and with His help we can live a life worth living.


Eddie Bradley is pastor

emeritus at High Way Church.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

LETTER: CERB is simply worsening overdose issues in Maple Ridge

Taxpayer money is going to help buy more drugs and increase cases of death on local streets: Reader

Ridge Meadows Soccer welcomes former Whitecaps coach to club

Craig Dalrymple will join organization as new sporting director

Problems delay opening of sheets at Planet Ice Maple Ridge

Getting hold of parts, making repairs mean rinks won’t be available until January: facilities manager

SHARE: Smoky skies cast Alouette Lake in a rather haunting light

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read