Bible Question:

I have several questions: 1) Why did God say that Adam could eat all the fruit he desired and then immediately change His mind? 2) Why was God so insecure that He had to test man in order to see if he would serve Him for the correct reasons? Did it really matter given the state of the human race?

Bible Answer:

To answer your questions about Adam eating fruit from the garden’s trees, we will consider two passages  in the book of Genesis. The first one is Genesis 1:29 and the second one is Genesis 2:15-17.

Genesis 1:29

A close examination of Genesis 1:29 and Genesis 2:15-17 will reveal that there is no contradiction between these passages. In the first passage, God allowed Adam and Eve to eat from any tree that produces fruit which contains seeds. In the second passage they can eat from any tree, except one of them. Here are the two passages.

Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you . . .” (NASB) Genesis 1:29

Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (NASB) Genesis 2:15-17

The first passage refers to trees that yield fruit that have seeds. The second passage warns Adam and Eve that they cannot eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This means that the first passage refers only to trees that produce fruit with seeds but the second passage is broader and includes all trees, except one. If the tree of the knowledge of good and evil did not have seeds in its fruit, then there is no contradiction. Based on the accuracy of the rest of the Bible and our lack of knowledge of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it is unreasonable to believe or claim that there is a contradiction between the two passages.

Genesis 2:15-17

The second passage reveals that God told Adam that he could eat from any tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God did not add the prohibition at some later time. He gave the prohibition at the same time He gave them permission. God did not change His mind. God established the boundaries to which Adam was to submit in the beginning.

Adam was created perfect. Yet, he decided to disobey. When he did, sin entered the world. Adam and Eve became sinners. As a result, their children became sinners and their grandchildren became sinners too! The entire human race is in this condition. As a result, we have a warped view of God. We are sinners who look at God through a sinful perspective.

God did not test Adam because He was insecure. In fact, His testing proves that He was very secure. It is important to recognize that parents who do not establish boundaries for their children, who do not discipline their children, and/or are unwilling to discipline their children are themselves insecure. Insecure people want everyone to like them and are afraid, reluctant, or hesitant to do anything that might offend someone. As a result some parents do not always discipline their children. Some parents want their children to like them and consequently are afraid to provide the guidance they need.

Some parents do not establish boundaries for their children. Some parents let their children do whatever they desire. Parents who fail to establish boundaries and fail to discipline their children communicate that they do not care about them. As a result, the children have difficulty showing respect for others, loving others, caring for others, being self-disciplined, helping others, except when it serves their selfish interests. No, God was not insecure. He established boundaries and Hebrews 12:4-12 tells us that God disciplines those who believe in Him too!

Conclusion:

God is not insecure. In fact, He boldly declares that we are sinners.

. . . as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (NASB) Romans 3:10-18

For the wages of sin is [physical and spiritual] death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB) Romans 6:23

God boldly warns us that unless we believe in Jesus Christ we are going to suffer eternal punishment.

He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (NASB) John 3:18

Why has God told us that we are sinners and warned us that unless we believe in Jesus Christ we will suffer in eternity? The answer is that He loves us. It would be unloving not to warn us.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (NASB) Romans 5:6-8

God loves you and wants you to believe and to submit to Him. He is like a parent and we are like children. He must tell us, because we do not get it on our own.

Reference Links:

Peace With God
Who Is God?