The theme of this book is repeated here a second time. Yet in each place, it is stated in a slightly different way (2:24-25; 3:12-13, 22; 5:18-20; 8:15; 9:7). Each person has a choice; accept that God exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Life without God is meaningless toil to build wealth because we believe that will bring peace, satisfaction, and happiness. Yet no matter how much we obtain we die to find it was all chasing after the wind, meaning it is never obtained (16). The person who chooses to deny God eats (spends life) in darkness with great frustration, affliction, and anger (17).
Life with God is good and proper. We eat and drink, and find satisfaction in our toilsome labor (18). We know that when God gives wealth and possessions and enables us to enjoy them it is his gift (19). Such people won’t give much thought to their brief lives because God keeps them occupied with the joy in their hearts (20).
Yes, it is possible to go through life with toilsome labor and yet have joy. “How much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Roman 5:17) Through Jesus, the gift of God is more than the wealth of physical possession. The gifts of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, forbearance, goodness, and self-control.