I tend to prefer the epic to the commonplace. While Shakespeare’s tightly plotted tragedies and comedies are hardly everyday fare, compared to John Milton’s Paradise Lost, they’re as familiar as an alarm clock in the morning. Because really, Paradise Lost is high fantasy. Fantasy based on fact, but still legendary in scale. Peopled with fantastic creatures and transcendent beings, colossal settings and astounding descriptions, Paradise Lost consists mainly ofOnly the eyes of the heart perceiveThat the deaf and blind can hear and seeThat insanity’s saner than sanityThat only a slave can be truly free-“Through the Eye” Michael Card
“…and they lived happily ever after.”
The main ideas that jump out in Lost (really, the TV show wasn’t very true to the book), are those of justice, pride, freedom, gratitude, and forgiveness.
certainly isn’t a universalist. He correctly understands that every time God forgives, he must do so at the expense of his justice. Of Jesus he said: Milton
Some other able, and as willing, payThe rigid satisfaction, death for death.”
Yet at the same time, he presents the glorious solution: “mercy first and last shall brightest shine” due to Christ’s death and resurrection. All of that is decided and foreknown before the beginning of the world. And…that’s when the problems start. Pride, that original sin, slinks out of its den and into the hearts of men and angels. Man begins to fancy, doubting God’s exclusive right to reign. Attack of the Ego. With pride comes loss of gratitude, and the delusion of autonomy. But not Satan. He’s intelligent to know that it’s a delusion. He understands that he’s fighting a losing battle.
“The debt immense of endless gratitudeSo burdensome, still paying, still to owe;Forgetful what from him I still received…”
None of us exist by our own power or will; Satan understands that, and yet still does not have the humility to surrender. For in the end, surrender is all that will win the victory. Only submitting to God’s service will make one truly free.
“You washed me clean like a summer rainYou set me free with that ball and chain, Hosea,I threw away the key, I’ll never leave.”-"Hosea" Andrew Peterson
Submission and forgiveness recieved must necessarily breed gratitude. And “ay, there’s the rub.” Satan isn’t about to thank God for what he considers a patronizing gift. Satan will endure many things, but not being laughed at or thought inferior. His pride rebels at surrender and he continues to chase the illusive freedom of self-rule. He sneers at servile gratitude, and because of that, he will never accept forgiveness as a gift.
He’d have made a great American. Too often we sneer at surrender, choosing arrogant independence rather than becoming the servants of true freedom. We place desire for Freedom, that original sin, on the altar, rejecting the priceless gift of servitude and thankfulness. For it is only through surrender to God’s purposes, his law, both as individuals and as a nation, that we transcend all barriers into true liberty. Adam and Eve were completely free, but for that one essential act of obedience, one law: refraining from the Tree of Knowledge. If we are God's servants, we are free of everything else.
“What Better Work For One Who Loves Freedom Than The Job Of A Watchman? Law Is The Servant Of Freedom. Freedom Without Limits Is Just a Word."
-“Feet of Clay” Terry Pratchett
Pride, Freedom, Justice, Gratitude, Forgiveness. It is the only logical progression of a man’s journey, and
understood it very well. Milton
Or is it?“Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n.”
Neo-Mayberry, Middle of Nowhere, America