When God created humans, He created them to have fellowship with Him. They were created innocent, sinless, and in complete communion with Him. He gave them a home - the Garden of Eden, and a job - to tend it.
He gave them two commands: Be fruitful and multiply, and stay away from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil." I have a few questions about this.
First, why is everyone always talking about the fruit being an apple? We don't really know what it was. Could have been kiwi or mango. But that isn't all that important I suppose.
Second, was there some magical property in the fruit of that tree to open the eyes of Adam and Eve? Or was it the simple act of disobedience to the One who made them and had given them everything that made them see sin and shame, and experience the fact that sin ruins our relationships with God, creation, ourselves, and others? I do not think the fruit had any magical properties. I think it was in the act of disobedience that their eyes were opened.
How they must have felt. To have never known shame, and now to know it so well. To have forever ruined the perfect relationship of trust between themselves and their Creator. Need a picture of that? Has a friend ever broken a trust? Something is different afterwards, isn't it? No matter what you do, things cannot ever be the same. We grew up with this. But Adam and Eve were the first ones to ever feel that, and, in fact, are the reason we all feel it. One time they disobeyed the command, and the whole thing unraveled.
Now, my last question is why even put that tree there? I mean, here was a perfect garden, a perfect pair of humans, perfect communion, with a command that, if disobeyed, would ruin it all! Why take the chance?
Because without free will, we would have been automatons in communion. God wants us to love Him by choice. He loves us enough, as the poem goes, to "let us go." We have the choice to come back to Him. And that makes our communion all the sweeter.
How sweet it will be when we get back to the garden, and God opens to us the tree of life.