Ecclesiastes and the Dark Side of the Moon
In the last post and podcast I compared chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes with the first two songs of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, wherein both declare that the world system is vain and drives one mad.
Solomon declared, “Vanity of vanities all is vanity.” which is to say that everything is meaningless. In the first two songs of the Dark Side of the Moon, the main character declares that he is mad in “Speak to Me” and we are given his sense of being overwhelmed by the world system as one drowning who struggles to come up for air in “Breathe.”
In chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes, Solomon begins his explanation of how he came to his conclusion in chapter 1 that all is vanity by recounting his quest to explore the fullness of life, which, as the king of Israel he could do with his power and wealth. Yet every endeavor left a sense of meaninglessness because he realized that he was still going to die and all his efforts would be forgotten.
In song number 3 called, “On the Run,” of the Dark Side of the Moon we are given an instrumental sound-scape with an airport announcer and street sounds to illustrate the sense of running on the treadmill of life that goes nowhere in truth. The one statement in the song made by the protagonist is, “Live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me, HaHaHaaaaaa!” This is the ultimate philosophy of the world. Grab the gusto while you can, for tomorrow you die. The song ends with a crashing suggesting a car wreck at the end of his run.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 2
1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure”; but surely, this also was vanity.
2 I said of laughter—“Madness!”; and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?”
3 I searched in my heart how to gratify my flesh with wine, while guiding my heart with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the sons of men to do under heaven all the days of their lives.
4 I made my works great, I built myself houses, and planted myself vineyards.
5 I made myself gardens and orchards, and I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them.
6 I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove.
7 I acquired male and female servants, and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me.
8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds.
9 So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.
10 Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor.
11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.
12 Then I turned myself to consider wisdom and madness and folly; For what can the man do who succeeds the king?— Only what he has already done.
13 Then I saw that wisdom excels folly As light excels darkness.
14 The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived That the same event happens to them all.
15 So I said in my heart, “As it happens to the fool, It also happens to me, And why was I then more wise?” Then I said in my heart, “This also is vanity.”
16 For there is no more remembrance of the wise than of the fool forever, Since all that now is will be forgotten in the days to come. And how does a wise man die? As the fool!
17 Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
18 Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun, because I must leave it to the man who will come after me.
19 And who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will rule over all my labor in which I toiled and in which I have shown myself wise under the sun. This also is vanity.
22 For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun?
23 For all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome;
even in the night his heart takes no rest. This also is vanity.
Dark Side of the Moon 3. On The Run
(Gilmour, Waters) 3:32
[female announcer, announcing flights at airport, including ‘Rome’]
“Live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me, HaHaHaaaaaa!”
The lesson for the Church today is that the pursuit of material wealth and security that is taught by the Prosperity Preachers is madness and folly. We are called to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousnes” (Matt. 6:33) and to “look upon the eternal, and not the temporal” (2 Cor. 4:18). To seek worldly wealth and power is unbelief in God. It is the destruction of personal contentment. It darkens the light of Christ in you and causes your salt to lose its savor. Your end will be to be trampled under foot in your own personal car crash. Church, lets get off the worldly treadmill and seek life!