The Way of No Return
In the midst of his suffering, Job longed to die. Who has ever been so blessed and then suffered so much because of the adversity which surrounded him? He longed to die, but death would not come. He described his future in these words. “For when a few years are finished, I shall go the way of no return” (Job 16:22). “The way of no return”—think about that phrase. Are there situations in our lives where this phrase might be used?
Is there no return for young people who leave God? Who has not seen it happen? Young people, who in their early teens, seemed so close to God, but for some reason turned away from Him? Solomon described it this way, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say I have no pleasure in them” (Ecc. 12:1). There is such a grave danger for those raised in the church who fall away. Is there a return? Yes, but it is difficult because of the “baggage” one brings with them. There is the added anguish of the experienced sins and the attendant guilt. There is a way to return, but it can be so difficult.
Is there no return for unfaithful husbands or wives? There are many trials and hurts in a marriage, but there are none equal to the unfaithfulness of a spouse. The enticement is real, for Solomon described that path as “…the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death” (Prov. 7:27). Can one return? Yes, but the faithful mate may have gone on with his/her life and have no desire to relive the hurt suffered. A sacred trust has been broken, and it can take years to restore it. There can be a return, but it comes with great “baggage.”
Is there no return for those enslaved by sexual addiction (porn), gambling, drugs and drinking? The power of addiction so often is not recognized. The entrance into sin may seem no great problem, but that entrance opens a door to bondage a Christian will struggle against the rest of his/her life. The obvious demise of media superstars captured by addiction and their loss of fame and fortune is well known, but millions struggle every day with the addiction of sin. Marriages are destroyed, children are scarred and the talents of many are never realized. Is there a return? Yes, but there remains the ever-present temptation of those sins.
Where is the true place of no return? Job was describing the end of life. Life usually ends without notice and all hope of someday “getting it right” is gone. Young people die in their sins. Unfaithful spouses die in their sins. Drug addicts and drunkards, who plan someday to change, die in their sins. God help us to realize there is a time and place of no return!