What is left for a person who decides, “There is no God,” or “If God exists he, she, or it doesn’t or cannot care about me?” That person needs to find a way to improve their existence and keep things and people from taking away from that which they obtained. A godless life seeks contentment, peace, happiness, and meaning from that which they can be obtained.
People have been seeking a way to exist contently without fear or love of God for longer than history records. Mankind has developed means for godless living to the point that whatever a person may try someone already tried it (9,10). We may not be able to research their unique attempt at godless living, yet we can be sure any way to live godlessly has already been tried. They lived godlessly and died. They and their attempt at godless living were forgotten (11).
God gave Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes more wisdom than anyone before or since him (12,13). He examined and applied life pursuits of those who neither love nor fear God. His conclusion is, “What a heavy burden God has laid on men!”
Is laying a heavy burden on mankind righteous? Why would a loving God make the pursuit of contentment, peace, security, and joy without him a heavy burden?
Does love compel a person to remain idle as another pursues that which is obtainable through means that will not obtain it and only keep oneself from it? If you had all the wisdom, power, and means to make it easy for someone to obtain contentment, peace, security, and joy wouldn’t you find a way to present it to them? Then if they reject it and seek to find it themselves in ways that will not provide it wouldn’t you make it a heavy burden for them to seek such foolishness?
Life pursuits that reject God have no meaning or purpose in the end for the ultimate pursuit is never obtained. When it appears to have been obtained it is not kept for long. For that which can only be straightened by only one means will not be kept straightened without that one means (15). That which is not there cannot be counted. If it is always missing how can we know what it is and how much it weighs?
A relationship with God is the only means to the ultimate pursuit. If he is not there, then we can never figure a way to obtain what only he can bring. He is the only way to straighten life. Love and fear of God are the only means. All other pursuits are heavy burdens. If there is only one path to a city, then taking any other path is meaningless.