Currently, I am reading Paradise Lost which is an amazing book and I great recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is a hard book to get through but a great accomplishment when you do so. While I do not believe John Milton was a Christian because he denied the doctrine of the Trinity (this is not judgment on his character but on his doctrine which should be judged), I still am learning a lot about the nature of evil and human depravity. Through the beginning of the book you are taken on the journey of Satan’s fall to Hell and attempt to get revenge on God, and in it you find sympathy for Satan. This may sound crazy but you understand when you read the book for yourself. The crazy thing is that afterwards I realized “WOW! I just found sympathy for the devil! How depraved can I be!” It shows you the reality of human wickedness. How far from God must we be in order to find sympathy and identification with Satan. This was Milton’s point. God knew how evil humanity would become yet still He decided to create us and die for us! How great of a love is this! Nothing can match it or find equality with it!
The other interesting thing I found was through David Platt’s sermon on Angels and Demons which I have been listening to at the same time as reading Milton. He showed that as Satan has attempted to become equal with God, he has instead become the very opposite of Him. The only way to become like God is to become humble and therefore submit to Him. Desire for equality with Him only leads to becoming the very opposite of His essence. Isn’t it crazy how God works in this way! His sovereignty is also amazing because Milton points out that even in rebellion are doing God “mightier service as His thralls.” No one can escape His ultimate will. You will either work according to His plan in rebellion against Him or in service to Him. I do not necessarily mean that God predestined people to rebel. We all have the free will do choose between serving God willingly or in rebellion. No matter what you do though you cannot leave God’s control.