And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
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.
I remember reading this passage of scripture as a child, after having read the entire story of the fall in the garden, and wondering why God said this. After all, the first couple did eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and they lived to tell about it. They had children and lived, at least Adam did, to ripe old ages; Adam died at 930 years old. What I didn't see in this verse as a child that I now see in this verse as an adult is that God was referring to the spiritual and not the natural. God expected obedience, and why shouldn't He? He placed the man in the garden, and all the man had to do was live there and tend the garden. He had all the food and water he needed, the temperature was probably very nice, and the man didn't have to work for anything. All he had to do was enjoy! There was only one stipulation: do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God gave a warning to the man, that when he ate from that tree he would die...spiritually.
God was the Creator of the man and He had absolute authority over the man, while at the same time, God had given the man free will. God allowed the man the choice to obey and submit to His command, or disobey, which would bring on certain consequences. The choice was the man's.
That choice is still ours. We still have the choice to obey God and reap the eternal reward that He wants to bestow upon us, or we can disobey God and reap the consequences. What choice will you make?