In our study of Ecclesiastes chapter five, we look at Solomon's conclusion about living a life without love.
"Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong." NIV translation
Solomon continues his search for the meaning of life by pouring himself into religion. This verse speaks of going to God and doing all the talking instead of listening to Him in order to see what He wants from us. This speaks of a lack of love in that, in any good relationship, a conversation is a two way street. Going to God in prayer and not loving Him enough to let Him speak to you is a waste of time and effort.
Making idle vows (promises) to God should be avoided and this passage speaks of those who continue to make vows that they do not keep.
If we love Him, we will not babble on with promises that we do not intend to keep and long prayers that do not come from the heart.
"When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, 'My vow was a mistake.' Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God." NIV translation
An unfulfilled vow is a lie and God does not like liars. If you love someone, you don't lie to them or make excuses for not doing what you promise. Solomon's conclusion about religion is that rituals without love are meaningless. They cannot substitute for love and respect.