The above verse is one about unconditional love. There is even a new Chris Tomlin song based on this lyrics called, I Will Follow You. It always makes me chuckle when I hear it in weddings, however. I wonder if the bride reciting this verse to her husband,realizes the context of the actual verse. You see, it was said by a daughter-in-law, to her mother-in-law.
Young Ruth had lost her husband. Her sister-in-law (Orpah) and her mother-in-law (Naomi) all lost their husbands too. Naomi told her young daughters-in-law to go back to their own families. It only made sense. The other daughter-in-law returned. But not Ruth. Ruth professed her love to her mother-in-law, and promised to follow her wherever she went.
Before you get the idea that perhaps Ruth had the perfect mother-in-law, listen to this. Naomi told everyone to no longer call her Naomi (meaning pleasant), but to call her Mara (meaning bitter) because her life was so bitter. Would you profess you love to your bitter mother-in-law?
Scripture sometimes has two meanings. The obvious meaning in the passage, and often a deeper spiritual meaning. The literal meaning in the story of Ruth is steadfast love. According to scholars, the deeper meaning Ruth foreshadows the gentiles becoming a part of spiritual Israel, the church; and is a story of redemption. Digging deeper into scripture is important.
To hear the reasons why, meet me over at Titus 2 in Action, where I am a guest contributor today.