Meaningless Life Without God (Ecclesiastes 6:6) - Radical

Meaningless Life Without God (Ecclesiastes 6:6)

Even though he should live a thousand years, twice over, yet enjoy no good. Do not all go to the one place.
– Ecclesiastes 6:6

This verse continues the journey through a fairly bleak outlook on life. If there is no God, if this life is all there is, and Ecclesiastes chapter six specifically is talking about somebody who has everything this world has to offer. In the very beginning, it talks about a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires.

Then in verse six, what I read just a minute ago, even though he should live a thousand years, twice over, so he could have all the world offers for a thousand years, and then do it all again. Yet. There’s a phrase, yet he enjoys no good. That goes back to verse one where it says, he has all these things, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them.

Ecclesiastes 6:6 Shows Us the Emptiness of This World

We see the emptiness of things in this world, even the best things in this world, if we separate them from the God who gives us those things and praise and glory and honor and gratitude to God. Things in and of themselves, even good things, are empty apart from the author of those good things.

Then this phrase, do not all go to the one place, this verse is such a clear reminder of how empty life is if this is all there is. If everybody, regardless how much they have or don’t have, how much they enjoy those things, or don’t enjoy those things, even how wise they are or how foolish they are. The author of Ecclesiastes is saying, in the end, what does it matter if this world is all there is, and we all go to the one place, then to use his language, meaningless, meaningless vanity. It’s all vanity.

Ecclesiastes 6:6 Presents a Picture of Life Without God

Just remember, as we pray according to these verses in Ecclesiastes, we’re seeing a picture of life without God, life without reference to God, life that doesn’t center around God. It is not a full, abundant life. It is quite simply meaningless.

Yet we know, and part of the point of the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible is to show us that life is not meaningless when it is centered around God and enjoying the God who gives good gifts for us to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6 talks about, and when we realize that how we live and what we do on this earth really does matter, not just for here, that all do not go to the one place, that all people will go to one of two places. This is what we celebrated just a couple of days ago on Easter Sunday, that Jesus has conquered death.

This Verse Shows Us that Jesus Makes Eternal Life Possible

He has made eternal life possible for all who trust in Him, for all who center their lives around Him. We pray according to Ecclesiastes 6:6, oh God, You are the center of everything. As we’ve prayed already at different points in Ecclesiastes, You are our life. We have nothing apart from You. All of life without You is meaningless, entirely meaningless. If this life is all there is, then we have no hope of ultimate justice or ultimate joy or ultimate meaning, oh God. You alone are the source of ultimate justice, ultimate joy, ultimate meaning, and all that is good comes from You, and all that’s good can only be truly enjoyed in view of Your goodness, God. We need you more than we need anything. We praise You for good things in our lives.

God, I praise You for good gifts in my life. As we all look around at our lives today, God, help us to be grateful for the many good things, to enjoy the good things you have given, but not to put our trust in those things, not to put our focus ultimately on those things. But ultimately to put our trust in You, to worship You as the giver of every good gift. God, help us to live with a constant awareness that this world is not all there is, and that we and every single person we’ll interact with today, tomorrow, is headed to one of two places.

Ecclesiastes 6:6 Helps Us to Be Faithful

God, help us to be faithful, to share the gospel, to point people to Jesus, to abundant life, to point people to ultimate joy and meaning and goodness, and love and salvation in Jesus. We pray you’d help us to lead people. God, we pray you’d help us to boldly and compassionately share Jesus this week.

God, we pray for the spread of the good news of the gospel among the Hakka people of Taiwan and Hong Kong and Malaysia. We pray for this people group, among whom there are few believers and many who’ve never heard the gospel. God, we pray knowing that without the gospel, life is meaningless. Without the gospel, people are headed to an eternal hell without knowing how they can experience eternal joy in You.

God, we pray for the spread of the gospel, to the Hakka people and 7,000 other people groups like them. Oh God, use our lives however You desire to make the good news of meaning and joy and justice and mercy and goodness that is found in you known right around us and known among the nations. We pray this in Jesus’ name, according to Ecclesiastes 6:6. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Together we can change that!