In Romans, chapter 1, Paul describes the debauchery that was characteristic of the ancient pagan world. A common vice in that day, as in our own time, was that of homosexuality. The apostle writes:
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile passions: for their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working unseemliness, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was due” (vv. 26-27).
Of special interest here is the sobering fact that there appears to be a suggestion in the latter part of verse 27 which indicates that there could be natural and devastating consequences which result from this vile manner of living. The modern scourge of A.I.D.S. and other maladies such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and pneumocystis (which occur as much as 200 times more in homosexual men than normally) would seem to support this view. Further, there is an interesting passage in the book of Job which may parallel this in principle.
In Job 36, Elihu, one of Job’s friends, described the attitude of the religious rebel when smitten by hardship. Such a one becomes bitter against God and does not turn to the Creator for help (v. 13). Those who are of this evil disposition frequently “die in youth” and their lives are cut off like the “unclean” (or “sodomites”). This is most likely an allusion to the male temple prostitutes that were a part of some of the perverted religions of the ancient world. Note, though, the connection between youthful death and this horrid practice.
You might, therefore, want to underline “recompense of their error which was due” in Romans 1:27, and in your margin write: See Job 36:14 — possible connection between sexual perversion and premature death.