The Lord said also to me in the days of Josiah the king: “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord.
This is the story of the two ugly sisters. Israel goes off to play the harlot with the false gods of Baal and Asherah. God calls her to repent and come back, but she refuses. So, God issues a certificate of divorce and sent her off into exile. Judah is portrayed as a treacherous sister, having seen what happened to Israel she doesn’t repent; instead, she looks for ways to fool God, playing the religion game, as if God could be fooled.
Paul writes about the difference between religion and Spirit; he says, “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (1 Cor 3:4-6)
God is looking for people that will give their whole heart in a love relationship, not just Sunday-only Christians that play the field for the rest of the week.