Soon after Solomon became king he asked God for wisdom. Here is how the request is recorded in 1 Kings 3:
You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?
The request seems to presuppose that the ability to discern between good and evil denotes the wisdom with a ruler needs if he is to rule well. Solomon was a child but it was time for him to leave childish things behind. He needed wisdom.
But there was a time when it was appropriate for prominent members of the human race to be children. Adam and Eve were new to the world when God told them both together that, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food” (Genesis 1.29). But then we know that one of the two who heard God’s declaration must have turned to the other and said, “God didn’t really mean that–at least not yet.”
Before Eve was created God told Adam, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2.16, 17). So a rather hefty exception was left out of the declaration and gift which Eve heard with her own ears from God.
So did Adam contradict God?
I don’t think so. I think the prohibition on the tree had to be temporary. And the fact that the tree is called “of the knowledge of good and evil,” provides evidence that this must be the case. Adam and Eve were each still “a little child,” but God had destined them to become kings and queens. As they matured and grew they would eventually be ready. At that point they would be granted access to the tree. Years later Solomon was granted it in a different fashion.
The two basic temptations in front of any human and any culture are impatience and escapism. People grasp at things they are not yet ready for, but they also try not to move into new life and try to stay perpetually childish.
God loves babies but he also intends for them to grow up into kings. Children have to learn to submit to their parents before they can rule.
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil (Hebrews 5.11-14).