I believe the scripture passage you are alluding to is in Ecclesiastes 1:8-10. It reads, “All things are full of labor; Man cannot express it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. That which has been done is what will be done, and THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN. Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in ancient times before us.” The KEY to understanding this passage (and the whole book of Ecclesiastes) is actually found in verse 2 which says, “’Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher; ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’” Solomon, who wrote this book, gives us the conclusion of the book at the very outset. The word “vanity” means “empty” and in this book Solomon describes his search for happiness and fulfillment in life “under the sun.” He tried everything within his grasp to find real purpose and satisfaction and in the end he concluded that there is NOTHING in this present world that can bring true joy to one’s heart. His heart was “empty” at the beginning of his search; and his heart was still “empty” after trying everything in life. Why? Because everything this world has to offer is EMPTY!

In the passage we are considering he focuses on everything he SAW and HEARD and he was forced to say, “The eye is not satisfied with SEEING, nor the ear filled with HEARING.” Granted, he more than likely found some “temporary enjoyment” in his experiences, but in time all proved to be “vanity.” His heart was still “empty.” He then goes a step further by proclaiming “there is nothing new under the sun” and that everything we may think is NEW “has already been in ancient times before us.” In other words, he discovered that “his experiences” had already been “experienced by others” throughout the ages. All men have had the same desire to find something to bring them happiness, purpose and fulfillment, yet this poor world (“under the sun”) has nothing new to offer that can fill the heart with lasting joy. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t “new things” (such as computers, cars, televisions, smart phones, airplanes, spaceships, etc. that have been invented). It simply means that every “new experience” that we have will prove to be the same; it won’t satisfy the human heart.

I can’t close on such a negative note, for Scripture also teaches us that we can find true joy and satisfaction, yet it won’t be found “under the sun,” but “above the sun.” In John 4:13-14 Jesus told a woman, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” In these few words Jesus was contrasting two kinds of “water.” The “well of water” that the woman was drawing from illustrates everything “under the sun” that leaves man thirsting for more. The “well of water” that Jesus was offering is “eternal life” that is given to every sinner who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior (see John 3:16, 36; 5:24; 10:27-28). The SOURCE of this LIFE is Christ Himself who is now seated at the right hand of God in heaven and thus this NEW LIFE is “above the sun.” Psalm 16:11 tells us, “You will show me the path of LIFE; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forever more.” Ah, dear friend, this is “the life that satisfies,” the life that is “above the sun!” The moment you trust in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior you have this Life and then, and only then, will your heart be FILLED instead of EMPTY.  You will then experience “fullness of joy” as you fix your eyes on your Savior in the glory. “If then you are raised with Christ, seek those THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1).  (372.5)  (DO)