God gave Adam and Eve the liberty to eat and partake of any fruit or bounty within the Garden of Eden, but to not eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The key thing is that the fruit is unimportant, but abstaining from eating it represented Adam and Eve’s willingness to continually love and trust the Lord, and by not eating the forbidden fruit, they could both demonstrate their obedience and faithfulness.
“….but rather the serpent’s temptation was to be like God.”
Unfortunately, as we all know, that was not the case. Temptation came to Adam and Eve through the serpent, and they both ate the fruit. However, when the serpent came and tempted them, it was not that Adam and Eve did not know right from wrong, or good from evil, for they first denied the serpent. The temptation was not really for Adam and Eve to gain knowledge of good and evil that they did not already have, but rather the serpent’s temptation was to be like God.
Satan held out to them the possibility that they could become the law unto themselves, no longer under any obligation to God, and as a result, humanity is punished, but before the ink has dried, God also institutes his covenant of grace, by sparing Adam and Eve, and promising to destroy the serpent. He then clothed Adam and Eve’s shame with animal skins, ultimately pointing to the day when His Son would crush sin and Satan, and provide the covering of His perfect righteousness for our shame.