“Therefore God gave them up to vile impurity in the lusts of their hearts, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them” (Romans 1:24).

That God “gave them up” (v.24,28), or “gave them over” (v.26), is the same verb used multiple times in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (LXX) to describe the action of God in handing over Israel to enemy nations as punishment for her unwillingness to repent. This should not be understood as God giving up on his people but, rather, the willingness of God to allow a rebellious people to indulge the lusts of their hearts; to enter into the hell of insatiable appetites. In becoming like the temporal idols they now worship, they become empty shells of God’s intended design. At the heart of God’s action is a redemptive intent; that, like the Prodigal (Lk.15), the rebellious might come to their senses and return to the Father.

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