“God gave them up”: Some of the saddest words in the Bible, repeated three times in this short passage. But what does “God gave them up” mean? And who did he give up, and why? Is it a statement of divine resignation? Has God given up on the world he loved and to whom he sent his one and only Son (John 3:16)?
As we learn this, we can look at all that is our neighbor’s and be content with, what our catechism calls, “a right and charitable frame of spirit” (WSC Q. 80). We can be genuinely happy for our neighbor’s sake, because we trust the providence of God. And we can be content with our own lot, knowing “we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out…” (1 Tim. 6:7).