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Trouble in Paradise - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2023 6:00 am

Trouble in Paradise - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 10, 2023 6:00 am

What do you do when trouble creeps into your marriage? In the message "Trouble in Paradise," Skip shares about how trouble came into the very first marriage and its destructive effect on Adam and Eve's relationship.


In Genesis chapter three, the honeymoon ends, trouble begins. Man, we don't even have enough time to bask in the romance of chapter two when all of a sudden we read about a deceiver in chapter three. Trouble comes to this couple.

What do you do when trouble creeps into your marriage? Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Skip shares a message about how trouble came into the very first marriage and its destructive effect on Adam and Eve's relationship. Connect with Skip Heitig exists to connect listeners like you to God's truth, strengthening your walk with him and helping others experience a life-changing relationship with God through Jesus Christ. That's why we make these teachings available to you and so many others on air and online.

If they've inspired you to keep living for Jesus, please consider giving a gift today to encourage others in the same way. Just call 800-922-1888. That's 800-922-1888 or visit slash donate. That's slash donate. Thank you.

Okay, we're in Genesis three as we begin today's teaching with Skip Heitig. A few years ago, I was in Hawaii with my wife and we were in an elevator and somebody was on the elevator and gave a big stretch like this and said, well, just another day in paradise. And of course, every tourist thinks Hawaii is paradise.

I mean, it's beautiful. I always thought that the worst or the easiest job in the world would be to be a weatherman in Hawaii because it's like the same every day, 85 and sunny with light trade winds. Unless there's a hurricane, that's the weather, it's paradise. But locals, people who live in Hawaii know that it's a great place to live. But there are some problems. And there's some very unique problems to the paradise called Hawaii.

I read an article recently called trouble in paradise. And locals were complaining about several things, racial discrimination on the islands of Hawaii. Homelessness is big cost of living is huge. There's 30% more to buy groceries in Hawaii than in the mainland. Gas prices are out of control. Traffic if you've ever tried to drive in Honolulu, navigate around that town.

And then the big problem they're dealing with in this article is what do they do with the trash that is mounting up and their solution is bring it here to the mainland. There's trouble in paradise. If we were to close our reading with Genesis chapter 2 in dealing with Adam and Eve that closes with this beautiful romantic setting in the Garden of Eden, if we were to end there, we would be seeing the book of Genesis like a bunch of tourists. We wouldn't get the whole picture.

Chapter 3 introduces us to trouble in paradise. We have trouble in our world. We have trouble in relationships, trouble in families and marriages. Problem is not a lot of people want to talk about it. I got a letter two weeks ago from a congressman, the US congressman, saying that there's a radical shift taking place in our country in regard to the family and in particular marriage.

And he was asking leaders to stand up and be vocal about what God says about marriage. I thought that was interesting from a US congressman. Now we're coming into election season and it's always fashionable during an election to say that the number one issue is the economy.

It is a big issue. There was a saying coined a few years ago by a political strategist. You know it.

You've heard it. It's the economy, stupid. That's the saying. It's always the economy. If we can fix the economy, we can fix the nation. It's the economy, stupid.

Well, I'll just say to that, you really are stupid if you think it's just the economy. There's a deeper issue than just the economy and it's called the family. President Abraham Lincoln once said, the strength of our nation lies in the houses of its people. Families form the stability of a nation, of a society, and what ties a family together is a marriage.

Patrick Caddell, longtime Democratic strategist, wrote this. The decline of the American family is the hidden issue in our election. Sadly, neither presidential candidate is talking about our family structure or traditional values in any positive or constructive way.

But now we are facing a crisis of serious proportions that affects all Americans regardless of race and class. Well, here we are trying to conduct marriage in a broken world. This is not the world that God intended it to be. It is a fallen world. It is a broken world, which means if we're going to survive and, as we say, thrive, we have to be tethered to something that keeps us on target, some strong mounts that keep us strong. I don't know if you caught a couple of weeks ago, Nick Wilenda walking across Niagara Falls on the tightrope.

Did you see that? 1800 feet he walked on a tightrope from America to Canada. 1800 feet. That's six football fields on a tightrope, on a wire.

200 feet above the Niagara River into the winds, into the mist. ABC was the primary network that filmed it and they demanded that he wear a tether. He had to have a safety cable. Now he said, I don't need one.

I can do this. I don't need a cable. And he didn't want one, but they made him do it because they were filming it and they didn't want to film a splat in case he were to fall. So he wore it. He was tethered. And he had a microphone on while he was walking. And so the audience could hear what he was whispering. And frequently they heard him giving praise and thanks to Jesus Christ as he's making his way on that wire from America across into Canada.

I thought it was precious, beautiful. And I saw that and I thought, now that's a metaphor of marriage. Walking a tightrope, out into the winds that oppose this institution called marriage, into the mist because you can't always see where you're going.

And to survive, we need to be tethered to the Word of God and to godly accountable people in relationship around us to keep us thriving. We are dealing in Genesis 2 and 3 with the very first couple. It's the prototype, the prototypical couple, the first of all couples, Adam and Eve. Eve could have said to Adam, oh, Adam, do you love me?

He would have said, who else? She was it. Now, in Genesis 3, as we discover trouble in paradise, I want to look at it with you in three layers.

The layers are written out in your worship folder in an outline. There are certain things that end and there are certain other things that begin. Three things end, three things begin.

Here's the first. The honeymoon ends, trouble begins. In Genesis chapter 3, the honeymoon ends, trouble begins. Man, we don't even have enough time to bask in the romance of chapter 2 when all of a sudden we read about a deceiver in chapter 3.

Trouble comes to this couple. So let's read it, but let's read it without the break. The chapter break was inserted later on by translators.

It wasn't in the original. To really get the flavor of the story, let's begin in chapter 2 of Genesis, verse 23, and read down to 3, verse 1. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, has God indeed said, you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

You see the flow of the writing? That beautiful, picturesque serenity of the Garden of Eden doesn't last very long. Somebody once said, if the wedding is the dream, then marriage is the alarm clock.

There's nothing like getting married to wake a person up to the realities of life and the difficulties of pouring into a relationship over time. Paradise, trouble has entered it. It begins in chapter 3, but it continues throughout the lifetime of Adam and Eve.

You might say, trouble comes early and stays late. If you were to take all of the story of this first couple, you discover in chapter 3 that they're evicted from their home. In chapter 4, they lose a child. Also, at the end of chapter 4, a rogue son runs away from home. So the honeymoon ends for the Adams family in Genesis chapter 3. Think about that statement. Adversity comes early and stays late.

Every couple, every couple will tell you of adjustments, troubles, issues, whether it be communication or finances or sexual issues or in-laws who became outlaws or all of the above. That adversity came early and it continues. And why is that? It's simple. And we discover it here. It's a basic truth.

Please don't just pass it off as simplistic. Satan is our adversary and he hates whatever God loves and wherever God works, he is there to destroy it. In verse 1, he's introduced as the serpent. The Hebrew word nachash means the shining one.

Isn't that an interesting thought? He doesn't come with a pitchfork and horns and a little red suit going, hey. He comes as a shining one, as an angel of light.

And he pours it on and he knows how to do it. The serpent, the shining one. As we make our way through the next few verses, just as Adam and Eve are the prototypical couple, this is the prototypical temptation, adversity, struggle. Paul said in the New Testament, we are not ignorant of Satan's devices.

And so we're going to find a pattern with which Satan typically works in all people and in particular in a married couple. Verse 1 through 5, let's look at it. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree of the garden. And the woman said to the serpent, so it's a talking serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said you shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die. The serpent said to the woman, you will not surely die. For God knows in the day that you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.

She also gave to her husband with her and he ate. Now there's a few things I'd like to notice with you about these verses we just read. And Satan's typical attack, number one, Satan, the shining one, the angel of light, the enemy of our soul, number one, he challenged God's love. That's the implication in verse one with his question. He challenged God's love.

Has God indeed said you shall not eat of every tree? As if to say, you mean to tell me that God is restricting something from you, something from you? He doesn't want you to live a happy, full life. He doesn't want to give you every option that your whim desires. How can a loving God do that? Wouldn't He want you to have every pleasure? How many times does Satan whisper to a married couple, God doesn't want you in this relationship if it hurts you, if it's painful, if it's hard.

He wants you to be happy and the happiest way is out. Why would God, a God of love and mercy, want you to suffer? Well, I can answer that. I don't have enough time to answer that well. But I can say God knows us and sometimes suffering is the best way for us to grow up and grow through issues in life.

And it's one of the best things for anybody. But He comes and He whispers these things, suggests them. I had a very sad phone call this week. A friend of mine, been a longtime friend for many, many years, is a pastor.

I have known him and I've known his mom and dad when he was growing up. His mother died, so this man, his dad, was alone and he remarried. And this week he got a call from his wife, that man's second wife, and the phone call said, come pick up your dad. I'm done. The reason she said he was done is because he's an old guy now and he's starting to be a bit forgetful.

I'm thinking, I'm starting to get forgetful. But he's forgetting things and she was married in her first marriage to a man with Alzheimer's and the whole thought of me being a caregiver again was too much. She said, God wants me to be happy.

He doesn't want this. And she kept saying, God will forgive me. God will forgive me. God will forgive me. God will forgive me.

I'm out. Satan challenges God's love. Second thing is God was challenged in His Word. Satan challenged God's Word in verse 4. Notice as soon as Eve says, we may eat of the trees of this garden except for that one.

Otherwise we'll die. Satan says in verse 4, you will not surely die. That's an attack on God's Word. If Satan can get you to question the authority of the Bible, the Word of God, God's blueprint, so you start looking at it and go, all this talk of marriage in the Bible, that is such an outdated book.

It doesn't work in my situation. Then what will happen is you'll start being separated from church, separated from biblical accountability, from couples who care. You'll start being separated from Scripture itself.

You won't read it. We discover in our church here in counseling that people with the greatest problem, we always ask this first question, do you have devotional time with the Lord, quiet time with the Lord every day? There's a direct correlation to people struggling with major issues and the lack of quiet time. There's a pastor who does marriage seminars around the country. He teaches in his own church, but he travels and he does marriage seminars.

He said he always asks two questions to the audience as he begins the seminar. Question number one, do you personally, individually, have quiet time, devotional time with the Lord? Number two, second question, do you pray with your spouse? He said in every seminar he's done, here is the average, 10% of the people in that entire crowd say they have daily devotional time personally with the Lord, and only 5% say they pray as a couple.

You know what that tells me? You have a lot of Christians trying to do marriage without God. And if God invented marriage, which he did, and he brought the man and the woman together, then to try to pull it off in a broken fallen world with all of the temptations, the tightrope walk, without being tethered, not a good idea, not a good plan. So Satan challenges God's love. He challenges God's word.

Number three, Satan substitutes his own lie. Look at verse five. For God knows, he's just making this up, that in the day that you eat of it, your eyes will be open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. God's trying to keep you from something, and what's going to happen is you're going to be as good and as big and as powerful and as mighty and as all-knowing as God.

It's a perversion of what God did in creation, making man in God's image. Now the thought is, why don't you make God in your image? Let's just replace God with you. Once a person starts questioning God's love and questioning God's word, he will even start questioning the whole notion of God.

Here's the thought. Well, the Bible isn't enough for my problem. Church isn't enough for my problem. I need real help, not from the Christian group, not from the biblical group, real help from the secular community.

I need to pay $100 an hour to get psychobabble. That's real help. That's the only thing that's going to fix me. The whole notion of God is thrown out, because once you push God and His blueprint out of the picture, well, then you can just start making stuff up.

You can insert it with just about anything you feel, anything you want. I've stood at this platform on these steps a few weeks ago with a woman who said, I prayed about it, and I feel a peace about leaving my husband, dumping him. I said, well, what did he do?

He goes, well, we're just not getting along. But I prayed about it, and I feel a peace about it. I said, do you feel a peace about it? Have you ever read deeply into this book? Because you don't have to feel anything about it. Your feelings can become the caboose that is pulled by your will with God's principles.

Are you willing to do that? She said, I'll pray about it, see how I feel about it. Satan challenges God's love, His word, and substitutes God's word with a lie. Now, look at the temptation in verse 6. Look how good this looks to eat. When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, nothing wrong with that, that it was pleasant to the eyes, it's beautiful, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and she ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Let me remind you of a scripture in 1 John that fits in so perfectly here.

It's a dovetail. John writes, for all that is of the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, remember that verse, and the pride of life, that is not of the Father, it is of the world, and the world is passing away, and the lust thereof. But whoever does the will of God abides forever. Now, think of that verse with verse 6. The lust of the flesh, tree looks good for food, the lust of the eyes, it was pleasant to her eyes, and the pride of the eyes, it was desirable to make one wise. Your enemy and my enemy, Satan, is incessant, incessant. He keeps coming back, you know, it's like a woodpecker, and woodpeckers will go on a tree, and they're trying to find the soft spot, and once they find the soft spot, they're in.

Satan and his satanic host, they've been studying humanity for a few thousand years, I think they've got us wired, and I think individually, whatever demons are assigned to you, know your weaknesses, your weak spot, and that's where he hammers. He carefully studies our character to mount the attack. Be aware of that. There was a woman married to a miserly man, he wouldn't give her anything. She had to fight for everything she had. She said one day, honey, I'm going shopping. He immediately said, look, but don't buy. And she said, I'm going shopping. And she said, look, but don't buy. Look, but don't buy. She said, I'm just going window shopping.

Look, but don't buy. So she goes out, comes home a couple hours later with a bag with a brand new dress. He gets all upset.

I told you to look, but not buy. She goes, I know, I know, but when I tried the dress on, Satan was there. And he said, boy, that dress looks great on you. And her husband said, well, you should have said, get thee behind me, Satan. She said, I did, but he said, you know, from the back, it looks really good, too. Here in the text, the temptation looks really good, really pleasant.

He comes on with such soothing and reassuring words and speech. Notice the rapid fire verbs in the text, four of them. She took, she ate, she gave, he ate. And there, friends, is the darkest day in human history. It's when it all began, all the troubles began. A new virus was infected into the human bloodstream, the S-I-N virus.

We're all S-I-N positive. Paul summed it up by saying, by one man, that is Adam, by one man, sin entered the world and death through sin and death has spread to all men. Sin. Nobody even uses that word anymore.

Preachers don't even use that word anymore. They like to say, well, we all have many vices. We all deal with our own hang-ups.

All of us have baggage. Okay, call it whatever you want. But eventually get down to what the Bible calls it. It's sin. I have sin. I'm a sinner. The quicker we admit that, the better we are.

Because if we want help for a problem we have, if we keep denying we have the problem, we'll never go to the doctor for the cure. When I realize what I need to do because of who I am, the better off I'm going to be. out of love.

While we can't repay our mothers, we can honor them. Here's a great suggestion. It's a special bundle of resources we're calling the heart songs package. It features heart songs. There's a Psalm for that, a powerful five-part series led by Lenya and Janae Heitzig designed to teach you to depend on God's love, power, and comfort in every season of life. You'll explore what the Psalms say about love, jealousy, fear, security, and longing.

Maybe you can think of a time when you really, really wanted something. This Psalm is kind of about that. It's this longing, this desire, this hunger that the Psalmist is expressing, and his longing is for home. In addition to this encouraging series, you'll also receive the Sheology Quiet Time Journal, perfect for daily Bible reading to make notes as you follow the heart song series or for your personal prayer time. Plus, you'll get a bag of Skip's library roast coffee, the coffee Pastor Skip chooses when he studies in his personal library. The heart songs packages are thanks for your gift to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig.

So request your heart songs package today when you give online securely at slash offer, or call 800-922-1888. And come back tomorrow for the conclusion of Skip's message, Trouble in Paradise, and examines the realities of marriage in a fallen world. We're doing marriage in a broken world. It's a fallen world. It is not a world of God intended. You're not going to escape this environment that we're in. You're not going to escape the winds and the mist as you try to navigate the tightrope. You are doing marriage in a fallen world. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-10 16:50:34 / 2023-05-10 17:00:12 / 10

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