Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden with Adam and Eve in the first place? Couldn’t He have made it impossible for Adam and Eve to disobey Him in the garden?
This is a good question as it goes to the character of God. Let me answer it this way. The test of obedience and trust is not by mandatary compliance or conformity, but rather by trial. In order for the Lord to know whether Adam and Eve would obey and trust what he said he presented a choice.
1 Peter 1:6-9 (KJV) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
Those who have children and love them want the reciprocation of love and obedience returned voluntarily, not forced to comply. We want the free will choice to love and obey us, rather than the programed response of a robot. I don’t believe God is any different. God has given his creation “man” free will to choose whom they will obey.
Exodus 19:5 (KJV)
Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: This is the Lord speaking to Moses to tell the Nation of Israel.
And as is the case in any choice, there are consequences for those choices.
Jeremiah 12:17 (KJV) But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.
Also consider this well know passage from the New Testament.
Galations 6:7-8 (KJV) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
The consequences for negative and positive choices are evident in these verses.
Even in our poor choices God makes a way for redemption and restored fellowship. He did this through the sacrifice of God’s Son on the Cross, his amazing grace being extended to all who will choose and trust Jesus Christ as their Savior, forgiving their sin and giving them eternal life. To the Child of God who chooses poorly there is restoration as well.
1John 1:9 (KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
What a wonderful Father and Savior we have who can, even with our poor choices, still love us and make a way for us.