Usually, in countries not run by a dictator, a person who has been found guilty of any offence has the right to appeal to a higher court against his or her conviction.

Genesis chapters 1–3 record that God created Adam, gave him the Garden of Eden to live in, told him he could freely eat the fruit from any tree there except from one called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and warned him that if he did eat from that tree the penalty would be death. This was not advice, but a command. The tree was not poisonous; it was disobedience that had death in it. Adam (and his wife, Eve) ate the forbidden fruit. God summoned them, interrogated them, and pronounced the sentence of death. So could Adam have appealed this verdict?

The offence

What Adam and Eve did was not a minor matter, like for example our incurring a parking fine. Adam had been clearly given one law to obey, ‘Don’t eat that particular fruit.’ Equally clearly he had been told the penalty, ‘If you do, you will die.’ He could not claim that the law was unjust or that his situation was unreasonable.

The prohibition was a simple and fair test of his (and Eve’s) obedience to and love for God,1 and a means by which they might acknowledge that God ruled over them. Clearly they were being tested.2

The Judge

Was it appropriate for God to exercise the role of judge with respect to Adam and Eve?

Answer: Yes. From a human point of view, the creator of a game, say like Monopoly, has the absolute right to decide the rules and plays of the game. As Adam and Eve’s Creator and Lawgiver, God also had the absolute right to be their Judge. However, regardless of any human rationalization we may envisage, Almighty God, for no other reason than that He is Almighty God, had the absolute right to be Adam’s Lawgiver and to set any rules He chose (consistent with His holy, righteous and just character) for Adam and Eve to obey….

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