And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:21-25)
God did not create the woman immediately after he created Adam
There was a period of time between the creation of the two. During that time God prepared Adam to have a wife, and to live with other people. Adam learned language and acquired the ability to communicate his thoughts and feelings. God gave Adam a job and a purpose, which was to dress and keep the garden. Before God made the woman He made all the animals to pass before Adam so that Adam met and was acquainted with his inferior. God made himself known to Adam, so that Adam met and knew his Superior in his Creator. This gave Adam bearings on his own position so that he was prepared to meet his equal. Before God made the woman He instilled in Adam his moral character, which is the most important quality for a being who is going to live with and have dominion over other creatures. God made Adam to understand that there was right and wrong, good and evil, and to distinguish between the two.
The command to not eat of the tree was given to Adam before Eve was made.
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. (Genesis 2:16-17)
God commanded the man, and since He is his Creator He has that right. Since God is the One who made him God has every right to grant him rights or forbid him rights, and God is the only One who has the understanding and wisdom to know what to grant and what to forbid. It is the "Lord God" who makes a distinction between "good and evil" and establishes a reward of life or death as the consequence of man's choice.
Before Adam was ready to have a wife he had to learn to submit to God himself.
He had to recognize and submit to his rightful place in God's divine order. He had to recognize God as his Creator and Lord, and therefore as his superior - this is the basis of morality. Anything else is simply an individual setting himself up as a little god and defining his own morals according to his own lusts and imagination.
Adam had to learn that although he was given dominion over all the earth he was not the lawgiver. He did not have the right to make the rules. It was not his to decide what was right or wrong, but to choose whether to obey or not. The whole issue with the forbidden tree is God's authority over the man and the man's faith in God's goodness toward him. With nothing forbidden there is no concept of right or wrong, or good and evil. With no boundaries and nothing forbidden we would trample on the rights and property of others, thus morality requires that there be things forbidden. If there were only one man in the whole world he could do as he pleases in everything and not transgress against anyone, but since there are others in the world there must be boundaries for every man's behavior.
Remember, the whole creation is set up in opposing elements and principles without which we could not even survive. Our reasoning is designed to choose between two things at a time and approve or reject one or the other. In our mixed up world everyone has been brainwashed into being "tolerant." In other words, to agree with both sides of every issue, and reject all moral absolutes. With such foolish philosophy we have completely lost our way, and the world is more polarized and divided than ever. There ARE absolutes and they are established by the Lord God, they are forever, and they are meant to make it possible for all of us to live together in harmony and peace. Rejecting these God-ordained absolutes of morality is what brings chaos and violence and war.
Adam was free to eat of all the trees of the garden …but one.
Most people overlook the overwhelming benevolence of God and accuse Him of injustice because of the one tree that the man was forbidden to eat from. By the command of God NOT to eat of a certain tree Adam was made to understand that there was right and wrong, good and evil. Life was complete and full and wonderful without that one tree - everything else was given to Adam to do with as he pleased. There was only one exception to the complete indulgence of all his desires.
If Adam is going to live with others like himself, then any rights given to him must be given with a reserve to protect the rights of others. Adam must learn that he is not the center of the universe in spite of his exalted status as head of the race and ruler of the world. He must be made to realize concern for the rights and welfare of others, both those superior to him and those inferior to him before he is ready to live with someone his equal. All other creatures are not there simply to serve him and for him to take advantage of and use at his pleasure.
No man is ready for a companion until he is more concerned about pleasing God and others than himself. The tree was merely the thing reserved to mark boundaries and cause Adam to recognize God's rights in preparation for recognizing the rights of another like himself. There was nothing about that tree that was poison or magical and we have no reason to believe that some physical element in the fruit of that tree introduced sin into the world. It was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise - but God had said not to eat of it. The sin was disobeying God and failing to trust Him. That is where they obtained the knowledge of evil - experimental knowledge of disregarding God's clear command.
The shallow-minded infidel argues that God did evil in placing the tree in the garden to tempt the man. But even if there had been no forbidden tree, Adam would still have had to acknowledge the rights and authority of God at some point and in some way, because Adam was created in the image and likeness of God as a moral being. Adam would still have been capable of transgressing against God or another person by putting his own selfish interests first and disregarding the rights and welfare of others. The tree was the simplest way for God to teach Adam this important lesson and establish the basis of moral responsibility in his heart. Adam was made to have dominion with his wife over all the earth, but before he is qualified to be a just overseer he must have a proper sense of right and wrong, and his place in God's order. Without a moral sense he would be on the same level of existence as the animals.
Morality is about recognizing the rights of others.
Jesus expressed it as doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Luke 6:31)
These words of Jesus prove that the moral law of God is written in the hearts all men. We know what is right and wrong simply by how our own heart responds to what other people do when we are on the receiving end. Since man is a moral being, not only his own rights, but the rights of all creatures must be defined, and they are defined by God, who wrote his moral law the heart of every man. The command concerning the trees of the garden show that our rights are granted by and derived from God - not inherited simply because we are born, or given to us by our government.
By understanding these things and being submitted to God there arose in Adam's living soul a sense of responsibility, of right and wrong, and of duty. He understood God's order and God's plan for life to have peace and harmony and joy. The man must first have these qualities before he can live in harmony with another like himself. Before he can have a wife to love, fellowship, commune, and live with intimately he must be the kind of being that desires to love and do good to others without putting his own selfish interests before theirs.
Thus, the entire moral law of God is reduced to two simple truths by Jesus Christ:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
This was what God taught Adam before he made a woman to be his companion. This is still the only preparation that will bring peace and harmony to marriages, homes, churches, and nations.