Have you ever wondered why God planted a tree in the Garden of Eden and then told Adam and Eve not to eat of it? Did He really expect them to obey Him, and if not why did He test them like that?
Let's picture that garden for a moment. It must have been vast, really huge to hold all the vegetation and animals known to man and many others that have since gone extinct. We come across pictures from time to time of some artist's lovely concept of what Eden may have been like but at the best, they are such a tiny glimpse.
Hey, all those majestic animals and happy-go-lucky creatures needed plenty of room to roam, for example, they certainly weren't fenced in. If someone would have been wandering around for a week, or a month even making a movie of all the splendid sights and showing us how marvelously, intelligently and yes, playfully the various creatures got along then we would begin to understand what an incredible gift that first earthly home was.
So why did He plant one tree with forbidden fruit? I wonder how long it took them to find it, or if they would have even bothered if that Serpent hadn't whispered the suggestion to them. I don't think we can begin to imagine how interesting, and yes fun it could have been in that garden, then at the end of the day they would run to their Father-God and tell Him about another new discovery they had made while He smiled benevolently at them and explain, oh this that and the other thing, or maybe they would just chat.
So why did He plant that tree? Well, why shouldn't He have? He delighted to see them make choices: "What shall we do today, Adam, race across the meadow on the back of a cheetah or see if any more of those striped eggs have hatched?" Have you ever noticed how good it feels to make the right choices? For example 'I'm glad I took the time to listen, really listen to the children today and read an extra story or two when they asked.'
He did not make it easy for them to eat of the ‘apple’ by starving them or plunking them in a dry and barren environment. He gave them plenty of alternatives to chose from but He loved them too much to just create them as robots so after a warning not to do one, and only one forbidden thing, He let them loose to enjoy His beautiful gift which included happiness, beauty, fun, fellowship and an opportunity to bond with Him forever.
It was their choice. We all suffer the consequences of our decisions but He still tries to draw us back into that beautiful fellowship with Himself.