Let’s begin by reading of the creation of that tree and the tree of life.  Genesis 2:8-9 tells us, “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”  We then read in verses 15-17, “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” 

Before we go too far into this question, it is important that we realize that the Lord does not want man to sin, neither does He ever tempt man to sin.  James 1:13 is very clear in telling us, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, NEITHER TEMPTETH HE ANY MAN.” There is one who does tempt us to sin, and that is Satan.  The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 3:5, “For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means THE TEMPTER have tempted you, and our labour be in vain.” 

We are assured that the Lord will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to handle.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”  The Lord knows our ‘load limit’ and will not permit the tempter to tempt us without giving us the strength to resist, to escape, and to bear it.

So, then, why did the Lord put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden only to forbid Adam from eating of it?  I believe the answer is quite simple.  This tree gave Adam the opportunity to obey God!  God, in His mercy, realized that without the possibility to sin, there is no true obedience.  He wanted Adam to have the chance to obey Him.  Sadly, the serpent, who is Satan (Revelation 20:2) used that tree as an occasion to tempt Adam and Eve and lead them into sin.  We read in Genesis 3:6-7, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” 

Do you feel tempted to sin?  Do you feel the urge to disobey God’s Word and do your own will?  Hear the word of the Lord from 1 Samuel 13:34, “Sin not against the LORD.”  It is NEVER the Lord’s will for us to sin, and He will NEVER tempt us to sin.  (397.6)