“Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us” (Ecc 1:10). This question of the wise man becomes very interesting when we apply it to new year. Is the new year really new? In many ways the new year of 2012 will probably be a lot like other years if the Lord tarries. The seasons will come and go. The earth will be planted and harvested. People will be born and people will die. The problems of mankind like disease, crime, political upheaval, and environmental woes will continue to exist. New fads will come and old fads will go. Cutting edge technology will be invented and obsolete technology will expire.
It is true that a new year does constitute new opportunities to do and be better than the previous year. Many businesses will try to have a better year financially. Law enforcement officials will try to bring the crime rate down. Government will endeavor to do a better job of passing bipartisan legislation to address the needs of the nation. People will make resolutions of reformation to improve their lives.
But is all of this really new? God’s standard of new is a much higher standard than the earthly new to which the wise man was referring. God’s new is found in Ezekiel 36:26 -27 when God said, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” When God works in man’s heart to make it new, it is not just reformed, not just improved, and not just rehabilitated, but transformed, regenerated, and truly new. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2Cor 5:17).
A man with a new heart will be renewed in his mind and lifestyle. “And that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph 4:22-24). He will have a “new song” in his new heart and on his lips. Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 3:13, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” God’s new is divine, holy, righteous, and eternal in its characteristics. as we enter the new year, let us not stoop merely to earthly reform, improvement, and rehabilitation in our lives and churches, but let us aspire to God’s dynamic miracle of newness that transforms, regenerates, and ultimately issues into eternal life!
“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5).
~ Peach Bottom PA