I’ve had several conversations with people lately surrounding the idea of the Tree of Knowledge. Why was Adam given the choice, or opportunity to disobey God…or rather, to not have faith in God?
That answer is quite obvious; Adam had to be given some form, or kind, of choice in order to truly have free will. It is plain that God does not want humans as robots, or else He could’ve very easily made Himself a bunch of automatons to populate the earth. So, in order for there to be free will, there absolutely must be a choice available; The Tree of Knowledge was that choice.
Now, I in turn ask the question; Why was the Tree of Knowledge the choice? Why didn’t God just say; “You see that tuft of purple grass…don’t step on it.” Would that not have been a free will choice between obedience and faith or disobedience and a lack of faith? So, why the Tree of Knowledge in particular?
We are not directly told…but just mull it over a bit. Here’s my opinion; if we were going to fall, which God knew we were, we needed the choice to be the tree. If we fell, in other words, something about the choice itself would aid us in the future to get back to God. I believe the Tree served that function.
If the Tree itself provided us with an idea of Good vs. Evil, then that absolutely helps us find our way back to God. For one simple example, The Moral Argument for God is basically derived from that very idea. The fact that humans know there is right and wrong (even if we disagree on the details) gives evidence of God. A true and meaningful sense of morality only makes logical sense if there is an absolute and objective source for that morality.
The Tree did not create that morality within us; God did…but perhaps the Tree let us tap into it. If the choice had not been that tree, it may have been much much harder for us to return to God because we would not have recognized right from wrong internally.
We have to has that internal sense of right and wrong in order to recognize our sinful state, and that is the beginning of the realization of our need to “get right” with God (which can only be done ultimately through Christ, of course).
In short, I do believe that Adam was “funnelled” to the Tree if he was going to disobey in order to derive some benefit from it, even though that choice resulted in the fall. On a side note, it is important to remember that everything revolves around faith. It is faith, or a lack of it that results in sin. So, beyond eating of the Tree, Adam and Eve lacked faith in God and what He had told them…that was the foundation of the sin right there, not just the “work” of eating the fruit, and only through faith do we get back to God.