Today’s Reading: ECCLESIASTES 1:12-6:12
I have two pop music trivia questions for you:
- What song was #1 on the USA pop charts nearly 3000 years after it was written?
- Who is the oldest writer of a # 1 pop hit single to never make get a writing credit or a single penny off of his writing, even though he wrote all but six words of the song?
Well, if you 45 or older and you grew up in the USA these questions should be fairly simple. If you are younger, then allow me to introduce to you a classic folk pop hit.
In 1959 Pete Seeger took the words from Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8, rearranged them, added music and published “Turn!, Turn!, Turn! (To everything there is a season)”. It was covered by other musicians, with Pete Seeger releasing it himself in 1962. However, it did not become a big #1 hit until 1965 when The Byrds released it. It was # 1 on the charts for three weeks starting December 4, 1965. I was two! Solomon became the oldest writer of a #1 pop hit.
Here is a reunion of The Byrds singing “Turn, Turn, Turn”
Pete Seeger has always said that he took the lyrics from Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8, from the King James Version.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8 (KJV)
1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I found this post on line that divided the verses into three categories…
Times of the Body
- A time to be born, and a time to die
- a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted
- A time to kill, and a time to heal
Times of the World
- a time to break down, and a time to build up
- A time to get, and a time to lose
- a time to keep, and a time to cast away
- A time to rend, and a time to sew
- A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together
Times of the Spirit
- a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing
- a time to keep silence, and a time to speak
- A time to weep, and a time to laugh
- a time to mourn, and a time to dance
- A time to love, and a time to hate
- a time of war, and a time of peace
For me the message of the verses is that there are seasons in life. If we realize this than we can see the big picture.
- We can see that this time of sickness and suffering will pass.
- We can see that this time of prosperity is a time to save.
- We can see that this special time with our kids will pass when the leave for their own lives (so enjoy it!).
- We can see that wars will come and go.
- We can see that the crazy years of when the kids are young and need full attention will give way to empty Saturdays when the kids are out all day with their friends.
- We can see that clouds, cold and rain will pass into days of sun, just like winter into spring.
- We can see that there are times for oil spills, and times of beauty.
- We can see that there are times of earthquakes and floods, and times of calm beautiful days.
Through all of these seasons, God is still the same. He does not change and his values are the same. He is eternal and he values eternal things. He is always there looking out for us, through all seasons.
Hebrews 13: 8 (NIV)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Matthew 6:19 – 21 (NIV)
19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:25 – 34 (NIV)
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
For some fun: here is a much older version from when the song was a hit. In other words, when the guys were 45 years younger.
Extra Side note: David Crosby, of The Byrds and later more famously from Crosby, Still and Nash, will be here in Brabant at BosPop on Saturday, July 10th. Will I see you there?