September 2 – Under The Sun

History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.  (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Read: Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, Psalm 46:1-11, Proverbs 22:15 

Relate: I have been saying it for a couple years now, but apparently, I am not alone. Here are a few headlines from recent articles saying much the same:
August 29 – Washington Post “The West May Be Sleepwalking Into Another Catastrophe”
August 29 – Financial Times “Populism Is the True Legacy of the Global Financial Crisis”
August 30 – Forbes “Resource Nationalism Is Back, and It Is On the Rise”
From a local paper here in Turkey: August 5 – Hurriyet Daily News “The Rise of Global Non-Democracy”

No matter where you look there are three things on the rise that I would have thought we had left in the past. 1) The Increasing power and popularity of polarizing politicians (Trump, Putin, Erdogan, Maduro, Mugabe, etc).  2) The rise in nationalism. 3) The demonization of the “other” (immigrants, Muslims, opposing political parties, neighboring countries or cultures, etc). It is happening here in Turkey. It is happening in the US, in the UK, in Russia. It is happening in many Central American states, in Europe, and in Africa. The details might be different from one location to another, but the trends are all the same.

I don’t think we are at the same level of crisis as the late 1930’s with Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Churchill, FDR, Attaturk, Tojo, Mao etc. We are not that bad off yet, but we definitely seem to be heading in that direction. The question is, what will it take for the entire world to make a course correction before it is too late?

React: George Santayana has famously said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In response to this, Kurt Vonnegut responded, “I’ve got news for Mr Santayana: We’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what.” Here at the beginning of Ecclesiastes, it sure seems like the Teacher, Solomon, agrees with Vonnegut. Are we doomed to continue repeating our past mistakes over and over and over again? Is there really any better hope for the future, or is everything under the sun one large never-ending cycle? The answer to that question is in a song that has been in my head since I started writing this post…

Respond: 

Dear God,
Help me to get over the sun. If everything here on earth is destined to repeat itself, then we need something from beyond to step in and intervene. You did. And I pray now that You will again, both for this world that desperately needs You and in my life that just as desperately needs Your rescuing hand.
Amen

 

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10 thoughts on “September 2 – Under The Sun

  1. Solomon was right. In the beginning God spoke and the rest has been an echo down through the ages a building of His sound to the end. As our race introduced sin into the world the echo was momentarily warped and then The Word became flesh and dwelt among us and now the echo is restoring all that was meant to be through the process of prophetic fulfillment.

  2. I leave this to God, Who, ultimately is the One in control. Problem is, flawed, jaded, opinionated human beings are incapable of deciding what is right and good for everyone. Some of the very politics/politicians you condemn and accuse of possibly causing huge problems (Trump, for instance) came about because people thought the opposite political side were the ones that were dragging the country down, so they voted him in. Its all perspective and opinion. The political system shows why the Israelites should have never ask for a king to rule over them…far better to have God as a ruler and not have flawed people voting in other flawed people to rule over them.

      • As far as human governments go…democracy, as imperfect as it is, is as good as it gets. I’m saying that people are better off under God’s rule rather than that of flawed men, but they rejected that, so now we have to deal with this mess…imperfect people ruling other imperfect people….one side of the political coin accusing the other side of the same things the other side is accusing them of. Like I said, a mess.

      • Think about it. You obviously don’t like Trump,stopping just short of equating him with Hitler and the like, yet many people felt equally as strong about the Democrats and their nominee who has a long track record of bad behavior herself. They felt that the dems were dragging this country into depravity and destruction, so they voted for Trump, hoping for a change…yet you seem to indicate that Trump is the one leading us to destruction.
        What makes one side right and the other wrong and how are people supposed to figure it out when we are manipulated and lied to by politicians and the like? Each side has points and each side is judging unjustly to a large degree because of personal opinions and desires. I don’t call that an ideal or just situation.

        • You are getting hung up on “Trump” and missing the entire point of the post. Did you miss the fact that I included Churchille and FDR in the larger than life demagogues from the past era? I almost feel as though you are making my point for me. People are getting so hung up on defending or attacking their hero/villain of choice that they are losing sight of the larger picture. Again:
          1) The global rise of such larger than life individuals
          2) Extreme growth of nationalism (or our group)
          3) Demonization of the other.

        • Actually, I am not a Trump fan. I am using him as my example because, as a society, we are still dealing with all the drama surrounding the last election and that drama is a perfect example of the “demonizing the other” that you mentioned.
          I did understand your post. But, when you name names, you are no longer talking about “the larger picture”, you are talking negatively about people/things and my point was: no human being has the ability to judge rightly and determine what is truly good and evil. Thats why two sides with many “good” people on both sides can have such opposing views. We are all jaded by our upbringing, surroundings, ideals and desires. For instance, you spoke about some things negatively that other people do not see as negative. You see disaster coming, others think things are on the upswing in a positive direction. Who is right? That was my point.

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