The name of God occurs in Ecclesiastes no fewer than 37 times and that in such a way that the naming of Him is at the same time the confession of Him as the True God, the one who is Exalted above the world, the Governor and the Ruler over all. And so while the Teacher in Ecclesiastes draws out the vanity of searching for meaning apart from God, he constantly returns to the idea that “Fearing God” is the beginning place where meaninglessness (vanity) might become meaning.
Ecclesiastes places the command “Fear Thou God” (5:6-7, 12:13) in the foremost rank as a fundamental moral duty. Fearing God is central to happiness of men (8:12-13). Man’s final destiny is based upon the necessity of man to fear God (7:18, 11:9, 12:14). Ecclesiastes contemplates the world as one that was Created by God as very good (3:11, 7:29) and as arranged and directed that men might fear God (3:14).
And this fear of God that is put forth so clearly finds its concrete meaning at the end of the book.
“Fear God and Keep His commandments.”
There is thus struck a natural relationship between a life that is supercharged with meaning, fearing God, and walking in the ways of God’s commandments. Distinctions may be drawn between these three realities but they can never be divorced. No one can say that they fear God and not walk in the way of His commandments. Similarly, no can say they have found meaning in life without fearing God. Just so, fearing God, and having meaning exhibits itself by walking in God’s commands.