In Book X of Paradise Lost, Adam laments in lines 720-844 about his present condition. In what ways does God justify himself to man in this poem?
One of the massive contradictions in this poem that is addressed is the way in which man is given free will but that God knows what is going to happen. We can see this in the way that God predicts that Satan will be successful in his plan to tempt man to sin and to "fall," yet at the same time God in his wisdom and majesty constructs a plan to ensure that Satan is not ultimately victorious.
I suppose the biggest way that we can respond to this seeming contradition is to think about the debate concerning free will and how some religious thinkers resolve this issue. It is argued that God, because he wants a loving and willing relationship with us, his creation, wants us to want to be close to him. If he made us to be pre-programmed robots, he would not have a sincere relationship, as such a relationship would not stem from choice. As a result, he has to give us free will, which means we have the possibility to turn away from him and follow our own devices. Therefore, God recognises that Adam and Eve will turn from him. However, that is not the end of the story, as God, in this recognition, realises that he has to do something about it and therefore plans to send his son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for the sins of mankind so that they can have a relationship with God in spite of their inevitable sin.
Therefore, God would justify himself through such arguments. Although Adam and Eve do suffer, God is at work behind the scenes to put something in place that will ensure humanity as a whole is able to enjoy a right relationship with him once more.