As for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it.—Gen. 2:17.
Upon reading Jehovah’s command to Adam, many today would say that Adam was denied the freedom to do what he wanted. In saying so, they are confusing the exercise of one’s free will with the right to decide what is good and what is bad. Adam and Eve did have the freedom to choose whether they would obey God or not. However, only Jehovah has the right to decide in the absolute sense what is good and what is bad, as symbolized by “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad” in the garden of Eden. (Gen. 2:9) By means of his command, Jehovah lovingly taught Adam and Eve the way to exercise true freedom. As it turned out, our first parents chose to disobey. Did Adam and Eve’s choice eventually enhance their freedom in any way? Sadly, it did not. In striving for self-determination, they lost the true freedom they had been given. w18.04 1:9-12
During all their distress it was distressing to him.—Isa. 63:9.
Jehovah does more than just feel compassion for his servants who suffer. He takes action to help them. For example, when the Israelites were suffering as slaves in Egypt, Jehovah understood their pain and felt moved to relieve it. Jehovah said to Moses: “I have certainly seen the affliction of my people . . . , and I have heard their outcry . . . I well know the pains they suffer. I will go down to rescue them out of the hand of the Egyptians.” (Ex. 3:7, 8) Because Jehovah felt compassion for his people, he freed them from slavery. Centuries later, in the Promised Land, the Israelites faced enemy attacks. How did Jehovah respond? He “was moved to pity over their groaning caused by those who oppressed them and those who were treating them abusively.” Again, empathy moved Jehovah to help his people. He sent judges to save the Israelites from their enemies.—Judg. 2:16, 18. w19.03 12:4-5
Can a woman forget her nursing child or have no compassion for the son of her womb? Even if these women forget, I would never forget you.—Isa. 49:15.
The first two of the Ten Commandments required that the Israelites devote themselves exclusively to Jehovah and warned against the worship of idols. (Ex. 20:3-6) Those commandments were not for Jehovah’s benefit. Rather, they were for the benefit of his people. When they worshipped the gods of other nations, they suffered. By contrast, Jehovah blessed his people when they were loyal to him and treated one another justly. (1 Ki. 10:4-9) Jehovah is not to blame when those who claim to serve him ignore his standards and harm his people. However, Jehovah loves us and knows when we suffer injustice. He feels our pain more keenly than a mother feels the suffering of her baby. Although he may not intervene immediately, in due time he will hold unrepentant wrongdoers to account for the way they have treated others. w19.02 9:13-15