Justin asks, “If God knew Adam was going to follow Satan, why did He allow Satan to do so? Doesn’t this make it a set up?”
Yes, God knew that Adam was going to sin when He allowed the serpent to tempt Eve.
But does that mean God set up Adam to fail?
It depends on what you mean by setting Adam up to fail.
If you mean that God put Adam in a position where he could fail, the answer is yes.
If you mean that God allowed the tempter in the Garden, the answer is yes.
If you mean that God wanted Adam and Eve to sin, the answer is no.
If you mean that God put Adam in an impossible situation, the answer is no.
We do not know how long Adam and Eve had been in the Garden before they ate the forbidden fruit. Was this on their first day together? Two weeks later? A month later? The Bible does not tell us.
I would guess that they had been in the Garden for weeks or even months before they sinned—long enough to be able to eat from all of the other trees, including the Tree of Life. Most likely, in light of references to that tree in Revelation, the Tree of Life was designed for perfect people to have enhanced lives.
God did not forbid Adam and Eve from eating from the Tree of Life. So, it stands to reason that they would eat that fruit before they would consider disobeying God to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
We are also not told whether at some point Adam and Eve would have been sealed in perfection. That is, God could have removed their ability to sin. Remember, he will remove our ability to sin when we go to be with Him via death or the Rapture. Most theologians guess that at some point God would have removed their ability to sin. But they never made that.
No. God did not set up Adam to fail. God set him up to succeed. Even after he sinned, God had a plan for him so that one day he and his believing descendants who were faithful were to fulfill their mandate to rule on the earth (Gen 1:28).
When Adam sinned, God did not throw up His hands and give up on him. Instead, He promised Adam that He would send His Son to die on the cross for his sins so that he might have everlasting life (Gen 3:15). The aim of world dominion will one day be fulfilled when Messiah Jesus returns to rule, along with His co-rulers, that is, faithful believers of all time (1 Cor 4:1-5; 9:24-27; 2 Cor 5:1-11; 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 2:26; 3:21).
God allowed Adam to sin at a great price to Himself. Adam’s sin meant that the Son of God had to suffer a cruel death at the hands of hostile men.
God could have created Adam and Eve with the inability to sin. That He did not do that might seem like a bad choice to us. But that is a blasphemous idea. Everything God allows to happen is part of a bigger plan, and that plan is the best plan.
My guess is that most of the people who have been born in the last 6,000 years would not have been born if Adam and Eve had not sinned. We are all products of genetic mutations and the terrible consequences of both the fall (leading to lives only lasting a millennium) and the flood (leading to lives lasting only a century). If Adam and Eve had not sinned, there would have been people born. They were to fill the earth. But would they have been the same people? That is highly unlikely.
I know that God is good, just, righteous, and loving. The Bible tells me so. Therefore, He does not set up anyone to fail.