“Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.”

“Without understanding” (Grk.–asentos)
Literally:  “undiscerning; dull, senseless; foolish.”  This same Greek word, is used in v. 21 where it is rendered as, “foolish heart.”

This speaks of persons incapable of comprehending what was spoken; who are destitute of any capacity for spiritual things; senseless, foolish; inconsiderate (see verses 21-22).  Those without any moral understanding; without any understanding of Divine things and having no proper moral discernment.

         “covenant breakers”  (Grk.–asunthetous)
         Literally:  “faithless, disloyal, perfidious.” Those who are false to their contracts.

        Faithless, bound by no promise or covenant.  This is a very serious heart-disease; a “hardening of the hearteries.”  The Greek word asunthetous denotes the wickedness that does not even intend to carry out its pledged word, except for selfish ends.  Broken business contracts, violated national treaties, light betrayal of personal confidences—all have this hideous condition as their root.
        As every covenant, or agreement, is made as in the presence of God, so he that opposes the being and doctrine of God is incapable of being bound by any covenant; he can give no pledge for his conduct. In American courts, oaths mean nothing; perjury is common and seems to be the norm.  Look at the many treaties our government has broken, either at home, with the Indians, or with other nations.. Vows mean nothing. Oaths mean nothing. The most common contract, or oath, broken in America today is the marriage vow. 
       Keep in mind that marriage vows are the contracts or covenants that are most often broken.  Such vows now mean little or nothing to most people.  They will take the vow, before witnesses, of, “till death do we part” and then when problems arise in their marriage, they run to a lawyer and judge to get that marriage contract broken.  And before you know it, they meet someone else and again vow to be united with them, “till death do we part.” 

Look at what Jesus had to say about this:

        “And I say unto you, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife except {it be} for fornication (sexual infidelity) and shall remarry another , committeth adultery, and whosoever marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery;” (Matt. 19:9).
        “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man (no lawyer or judge) put asunder (dissolve; break up)

        “Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery, against her”
        “And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery(Mark 10:9, 11-12).

From their very beginning, the Romans, never made any scruple of vacating altogether the most solemn engagement, if they did not like it.

“without natural affection” (Grk.–astorgos)
Literally:  “without affection; lacking normal human affection; inhuman”–Without even that attachment which nature teaches the young of all animals to have to their mothers, and the mothers to have for their young. 

         Today we call such a person a sociopath; or one without the ability to feel affection or remorse.  The heathens (pagans), in general, have made no scruple to expose the children they did not think proper to bring up, and to dispatch their parents when they were grown old or past labor.  Today, we have people who will go all out to protect some murderer or terrorist from rightfully being put to death, or go “bonkers” to preserve some species of animal life; but yet they think nothing of killing a baby who has done no harm at all to anyone.  This is merely an example of “reprobate” thinking (v. 28).
        This expression denotes the lack of affectionate regard even towards their children. The attachment of parents to children is one of the strongest in nature, and nothing can overcome it but the most confirmed and established wickedness. And yet Paul charges the heathen with the  lack of this affection. He doubtless refers here to the practice so common among heathens of exposing their children, or putting them to death.  This crime, so abhorrent to all the feelings of humanity, was common among the heathen, and still is even now.
        The Canaanites, we are told, Psa. 106:37-38, “sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan.”  King Manasseh, among the Jews, imitated their example, and introduced the horrid custom of sacrificing children to the pagan god, Moloch, and set the example by offering his own (II Chron. 33:6).
        Among the ancient Persians it was a common custom to bury children alive. In most of the Grecian states, infanticide was not merely permitted, but actually enforced by law. The Spartan lawgiver expressly ordained that every child that was born should be examined by the ancient men of the tribe, and that if found weak or deformed, should be thrown into a deep cavern at the foot of Mount Taygetus. Aristotle, in his work on government, enjoins the exposure of children that are naturally feeble and deformed, in order to prevent an excess of population.|
        However, among all the nations of antiquity, the
Romans were the most unrelenting in their treatment of infants.  Romulus obliged the citizens to bring up all their male children, and the eldest of the femalesproof that the others were to be destroyed. Romulus also authorized the destruction of all children that were deformed, only requiring the parents to exhibit them to their five nearest neighbors, and to obtain their consent to their death.

         The Roman father had an absolute right over the life of his child, and we have abundant proof that that right was often exercised.  The law of the Twelve Tables, enacted in the 301st year of Rome, sanctioned the same barbarous practice. Pliny, the elder, defends the right of parents to destroy their children, upon the ground of its being necessary in order to preserve the population within proper bounds.
        The Roman Christian apologist, Tertullian, expresses himself boldly on this subject. “How many of you (addressing himself to the Roman people, and to the governors of cities and provinces) might I deservedly charge with infant murder; and not only so, but among the different kinds of death, for choosing some of the cruelest for their own children, such as drowning, or starving with cold or hunger, or exposing to the mercy of dogs; dying by the sword being too sweet a death for children.”  This horrible practice was not arrested in the Roman government until the time of Constantine. Also, the Phoenicians and Carthagenians were in the habit of sacrificing infants to their gods.

“implacable” (Grk.–aspondos)
Literally: “merciless; irreconcilable; a libation; poured out”–It was customary among all nations to pour out wine as a libation to their gods, when making a treaty. This was done to appease the angry gods, and reconcile them to the contracting parties.

         The Greek word here shows a deadly enmity; the highest pitch of an unforgiving spirit; in a word, it refers to persons who would not make reconciliation either to God or man. This word properly denotes those who will not be reconciled where there is a quarrel; or who pursue the offender with unyielding revenge. It denotes an unforgiving temper; they have been “poured out.” This attitude was doubtless common among the ancients, as it is among all heathen people.

“unmerciful”  (Grk.–aneleēmonas)-This describes those who were incapable, (because of the deep-rooted wickedness of their own nature), of showing mercy to an enemy when brought under their power, or doing anything for the needy, from the principle of benevolence.

Those who are destitute of any compassion;  (psychopathic). As a proof of this we can find no provisions for the poor or infirm were made among the heathen. The sick and the infirm were cast out, and doomed to depend on the stinted charity of individuals. Only pure Christianity opens the heart to the appeals of need; and nothing but Christianity has yet expanded the hearts of men to make public provisions for the poor, the ignorant, and the afflicted.

“Who knowing the judgment of God; that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only to the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

“who knowing”
Literally: “Who, having known.”  That the Gentiles had a
moral sense, or were capable of  knowing the will of God in this case, is clear from 2:14-15.  The means which they had of arriving at the knowledge of God were their own reason, their conscience, and an    observation of the effects of depravity.

         “the judgment of God”
         Literally: “The righteous order of God.” 

          JUDGMENT:  (Grk.–dikaiōma)–Literally: “regulation; requirement; judgment;       righteous deed; acquittal,”–This word denotes the declared sentiment of God, that such    things deserved death. 

           It does not mean His statutes or precepts; but it means that God thought or judged that they which did such things ought to die. As they were aware of this, it showed their guilt in still persevering in the face of His Judgments, and His solemn purpose to inflict punishment
         The heathen knows that God condemns such evil practices. But they yet consent with them.  This Greek verb form of this word, for “hearty approval” (dikaioō)–is used in Luke 11:48; Acts 8:1; I Cor. 7:12. It is a tragedy of American city government that so many of the officials are proven to be hand-in-glove with the underworld of law-breakers.
         The grand rule of right which God has revealed to every man, the knowledge of which He has more or less given to every nation of the world, relative to honoring parents, is the taking care of their own offspring, keeping their engagements, etc., etc.
        In the worst states of heathenism this great principle has been acknowledged; but, through the prevalence of corruption in the heart, this law, though it was acknowledged, it was not obeyed.  The corruption increased so that those were highest in repute had cast off all restraints of this kind; so that they even delighted in them, highly applauded, and gladly associated with those transgressors: “have pleasure in them that do them.”  This points to the very highest pitch of moral depravity.

“are worthy of death”–The word death, in the Scriptures is often used to denote  punishment. But it does not mean here that these deserved capital punishment from the civil magistrate, but that they knew they were evil, and offensive to God, and are deserving of        punishment from His hand.

“have pleasure in them that do them”
Literally:  “But also  approve those practicing {them}.”–This is referring to those people who deliberately set their seal to such actions by encouraging and applauding the doing of    them in others.

         Today we have “moral” people who themselves would never do such vile things, but yet they think nothing of sitting glued to the hellivision and watching some filthy or licentious acts being performed, and even cheer or applaud such actions.  Someone has described the hellivision as a way in which we can invite those into our home (people we would not think of having in our homes) so we can watch, and “enjoy” them as they are performing things that we would not think of allowing to be performed in our homes.  Unfortunately, people are using their home computers for this very same thing.  Just think of the influence all this electronic filth and garbage has on our children!
        This is the highest degree of wickedness. A man may be hurried by his passions to do the thing he hates; but he that has pleasure in those that do evil, loves performing or watching wickedness for wickedness' sake.  And hereby he encourages them in sin, and heaps the guilt of others upon his own head. They delight in those who commit sin; and hence encourage them in it, and excite them to it. This was a grievous aggravation of the offence.
        It greatly heightens guilt when we excite others to do it, and seduce them from the ways of innocence. That this was the case with the heathen there can be no doubt. Men do not commit sin often alone. They need the countenance of others. They “join hand-in-hand,” and become confederates in iniquity. All social sins are of this class; and most of those which the apostle mentioned were sins of this character. We have heard the saying that, “misery loves company,” and we can also say, “sin loves company.”

         This is the climax of Paul’s charges against the heathen; and certainly, their settled and unblushing satisfaction at the practice of them, apart from all the blinding effects of present passion, must be regarded as the darkest feature of human depravity.  If this revolting and melancholy picture of the pagan world was a true representation, then it was clear that there was need of some other plan of religion. And that it was true has already in part been seen. In the conclusion of this chapter we may make a few additional observations.
1.      The charges which the apostle makes here were evidently those which were well  known.
2.      Unfortunately, the sad truth of the matter is that many of these things are being practiced now in countries that are said to be, “Christian.”   
        Just take a notice of what keeps flooding us from  the motion picture sewers of Hellywood.