Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Ecclesiastes

The last two Music Monday’s ended up in Ecclesiastes. Both New Order’s Restless and Twenty One Pilots’ Stressed Out point us to Ecclesiastes, and for Good reason. There is nothing new under the sun. Not even the idea of “Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll.”

Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll and Ecclesiastes (Pintrest)

Go read Ecclesiastes 2:1-11. Notice that Solomon sounds a lot like “kids today.”

Or the way I must have sounded to my parents.

Or even the way my parents must have sounded to my grandparents.

Or the way… well, you get it.

Anyway, this idea that sex, drugs, and rock & roll will somehow make  us happy and fulfilled is not new.


Sex is not new. I know that every generation acts like they discovered it. But it’s not new.

As long as there have been people there has been sex. As long as there has been sex, we’ve used and abused sex.

But sex is not the issue, right?

Here is what Solomon had to say about sex.

I thought to myself, “Come now, I will try self-indulgent pleasure to see if it is worthwhile.” But I found that it also is futile. I said of partying, “It is folly,” and of self-indulgent pleasure, “It accomplishes nothing!” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-2)

I acquired male singers and female singers for myself, and what gives a man sensual delighta harem of beautiful concubines! (Ecclesiastes 2:8b)

Sex is not the issue. The issue – the error – is when we use sex to find happiness and fulfillment.

Yes, sex is awesome.

But sex does not satisfy.

No one has sex and says, “That was so good I am now done with sex forever!”


Drugs are not new either. Sure, some *types* of drugs are new(ish), but we’ve altered our state of consciousness for almost as long as we’ve abused sex.

All the way back to Genesis 9 we read that Noah, after getting off the Ark and praising God, “drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent.

This godly and blameless man who found favor in the sight of God got butt-naked drunk.

(I have a little fun with this over at my personal site.)

So what does Solomon have to say about drugs, in the form of wine?

I thought deeply about the effects of indulging myself with wine (all the while my mind was guiding me with wisdom) and the effects of behaving foolishly, so that I might discover what is profitable for people to do on earth during the few days of their lives. (Ecclesiastes 2:3)

I increased my possessions: I built houses for myself; I planted vineyards for myself. (Ecclesiastes 2:4)

Again, wine is not the issue. It was/is part of Passover and Jesus served it at the Last Supper.

It is the abuse of wine (drugs) that is the problem.

The problem is when we use wine (drugs) to find happiness or fulfillment. The problem is when we use wine (drugs) to excess.

Even Ephesians 5:18 says don’t be drunk on wine. Notice it does not say don’t drink wine.

But like with sex, wine can never truly satisfy.

Rock and Roll

So what about Rock and Roll?

While the music was most certainly different, Solomon did indeed indulge in musical entertainment.

I acquired male singers and female singers for myself, and what gives a man sensual delighta harem of beautiful concubines! (Ecclesiastes 2:8b)

Notice that Solomon ties “sensual delight” to his singers. Yes, there *is* a sense of sensuality – sexuality – tied to music.

But again, music itself is not the problem. Remember, some of the Psalms are for the choir director!

The problem is when we turn to rock and roll, music, entertainment, for fulfillment or meaning or significance.

It may sound silly, but no one hears a song, finds fulfillment, and never needs/wants to hear another song.

Music is great – amazing even – but it is ultimately temporary and futile.

So What?

After chasing sex, drugs, and rock & roll, Solomon concludes that they are all profitless.

Yet when I reflected on everything I had accomplished and on all the effort that I had expended to accomplish it, I concluded: “All these achievements and possessions are ultimately profitlesslike chasing the wind! There is nothing gained from them on earth.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11)

So if sex, drugs, and rock & roll can’t satisfy, what can?

Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion: Fear God and keep his commandments, because this is the whole duty of manFor God will evaluate every deed. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

Ecclesiastes eventually points us to God.

Since everything, especially sex, drugs, and rock & roll, are temporary (at best) and ultimately futile, we are told to pursue God.

God is eternal. His kingdom is eternal. His love is eternal.

So stop trying to find fulfillment, purpose, or happiness in the temporary things of this world, and pursue the eternal God.

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Until next time, God bless.

Simon L Smith