Culture: Pop music and the Bible
Off hand, I can think of Turn, Turn, Turn written by Pete Seeger and most successfully recorded by The Byrds in 1965.
The lyrics aren't an exact match with the Bible text but it is pretty close.
How do you feel about the pairings in the song and in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8?
It is life!
Boring? Pointless? Angry?
Ups and downs of life.
Pop songs are often very good at shining a spot light on the human condition and in this case taking the observations right out of the good old book!
Comparing the song with the Bible passage it is drawn from, what’s the difference?
Interestingly, Pete Seeger opted out of mentioning God.
I have no idea what his religious view were.
But clearly, God would not be content with just giving us a realistic picture.
Instead, God wants us to see more.
The key is Ecclesiastes 3:11-14:
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.
"Eternity in the hearts of men"
We are transient beings living a short march of time on this earth yet there is something within us that points to and yearns for more. In every culture there is a idea of god.
So is this god instinct just wishing in the dark?
Or might that instinct point to a reality beyond?
If there is thirst, there is water. If there is hunger, there is food.
If we have a gnawing sense of eternity and the transcendent, there is god?
And then we also have this sense for what is good ... " ... nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live ... "
We may think doing good and being happy are separate realities. But if we really think about it, how happy are people who are doing bad things?
The euphoria of a few drinks might be nice for a little while but can leave a hangover the next day and in the worst case scenario, lives are lost when drinking is mixed with driving.
The "recreational" drug user gets a momentary high followed by desperation of drug seeking or withdrawl.
God has wired us to for happiness and the best route to happiness is doing good. So it would see that the two seemingly separate notions are connected.
So we live our lives ... " ... everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God ... "
Gratitude for life!
Through all the ups and downs a focus on God helps us stay grateful and happier.
" ... Everything God does will endure forever ... "
What we do at times seems meaningless and pointless.
But what if we ask God to bless what we do? What if we seek His guidance in what we do?
When we turn over our lives to Jesus, it is no longer just me doing it but God doing it and what God works on endures forever!