In Greek mythology, Zeus was the king of the gods. He and the others (Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, etc.) ruled from Mount Olympus. But the gods were only the current generation of deities; before them, the Titans had reigned. The age of the Titans had been a time of great chaos and darkness in the universe, before the gods overthrew them and ushered in an era of order and justice. The king of the Titans was Zeus’s father, Cronus.
Cronus was no kind and just ruler; he was cruel and selfish, and wanted his own kingdom to last forever. He did not view his children as beautiful extenuations of his dynasty, but as threats that had to be dealt with immediately. Therefore, every time his wife Rhea would give birth to a newborn, Cronus would pick up and eat the child.
The Romans took their religion from the Greeks, so they also worshiped the gods of mythology, but with different names. Zeus in Latin was called Jupiter; Poseidon, Neptune, etc. We named the planets in our solar system after the Roman versions of the gods. Cronus was renamed Saturn; our second largest planet bears his name. The worship of Saturn was so common in Rome, that by the 2nd century A.D., the seventh day of the week was called “Saturn Day,” or what we today call “Saturday.”
Our God is the one true God, whose ways are not our ways and whose eternal power exceeds our limited understanding. But the fictional Greek gods were really not divine; if anything, they show disturbing insight into the darker sides of human nature. Saturn, or Cronus, represents the abusive father figure who will gladly destroy his own children to preserve his power. It wasn’t enough that Cronus was willing to utterly annihilate them, but he specifically had to devour them. By doing so, he trapped them within himself, where they had no hope of growing or achieving anything outside of his body. To this day, a child who feels that he or she will always live in the father’s shadow and never accomplish anything greater than he did (common among offspring of powerful world leaders or famous people) is referred to as having a “Cronus Complex.”
This concept of eating one’s own children is not unique to the Greeks. The Bible also tells us a story in 2 Kings chapter 6 of two women who resorted to cannibalism during hard times. Samaria was under siege by the Syrians, and because of the cutoff of food and supplies, a terrible famine swept over the land. Verses 26-29: And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king…And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. The natural motherly instinct would be to starve before letting their own sons perish, but these women were willing to kill and eat their offspring so they could live.
In Isaiah 7, the king of Judah discovered that the other tribes of Israel were aligning with the Syrians. He was afraid of his kingdom being conquered and destroyed, but God sent him the prophet Isaiah to give him hope. Verse 3: Then said the Lord unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field. Isaiah met King Ahaz to bring him good news from the Lord that his enemies would not stand. But Ahaz seemed apprehensive to receive this message, so the Lord gave him the most profound prophecy of the future ever given. Verse 14: Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. God not only gave Ahaz hope for the future of his people, but hope that a Messiah would one day be born of a virgin, and have the power to deliver the sins of the entire world. We often quote this scripture during the Christmas season as one of the seminal prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament, written some 700 years before he walked the earth.
But King Ahaz did not receive the message. 2 Chronicles 28: 1-4 tells us of his wickedness. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. Not only did Ahaz not trust in God or His beautiful prophecy, but he became so consumed with idol worship that he sacrificed his children to Baal. He was given the greatest message imaginable about the future, then turned around and destroyed his own future on an altar to Satan.
King Herod was even worse. Matthew 2:1-3: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Rather than rejoicing that the long awaited Messiah had been born, Herod became nervous that the child might one day threaten his power. He hatched a scheme to murder the infant by asking the wise men to let him know when they found the Christ child that I may come and worship him also (verse 8). And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way (verse 12).
God also warned Joseph in a dream to flee Bethlehem from what was to come. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men (verse 16). Herod had all the children ages two and under viciously slaughtered to destroy any chance of any one of them one day overthrowing him. Historically, it is also recorded that Herod later had his own sons murdered because of his paranoia that they might be plotting against him. As if he as king would live forever.
Ahaz and Herod both had the spirit of Cronus; they were willing to devour their own children and destroy the future generations in a futile attempt to make their own power last forever. But child sacrifice is an abomination in the eyes of God; from the very beginning of the law, he gave a stern warning to his people not to engage in it. Leviticus 20:2: Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. Molech was an Ammonite god before whom people sacrificed their children. In fact, almost all ancient civilizations had some form of child sacrifice, but the Jewish people were unique in that the practice was strictly forbidden by their law. God called His people to be separate, and He calls His people to be separate today.
At the time this was written, the ruling on Roe v. Wade just celebrated its 42nd anniversary. Since then, over 54 million babies have been aborted in America. That’s almost 1/6th of the U.S. population wiped out, each one of them sacrificed to an idol god. It may not have been Molech or Baal, but what greater idol is there than the idol of self?
Each one had a mother that looked at them and said “I don’t have time to raise you.” “I have a life to live, and don’t want to be inconvenienced with you.” And most profoundly, “I am not willing to accept the consequences of my mistake.” And just like Cronus, we are a generation that has devoured our own children, considering them threats rather than blessings. Each child aborted in America could have been the one to find the cure for cancer. Each one could have been the one to solve world hunger, or the next great evangelist who would bring the gospel to the entire world. But the devil didn’t kill them; we did.
Cronus was depicted by the Greeks as having a scythe in one hand; on top of eating his own children, he had used this instrument to castrate his own father, Uranus. He didn’t want his father producing siblings that could also threaten him. He was not only destroying the future generation, but preventing the previous one from being fruitful. Don’t think that the rise in abortion and the increase of abuse of the elderly don’t go hand in hand. Any generation that is selfish enough to destroy the future generation will have no problem destroying the previous one. The push for legalized euthanasia goes perfectly hand-in-hand with legalized abortion.
How odd that the ancient Greeks perfectly predicted this wicked and selfish American generation. But don’t be fooled; it will inevitably catch up with us. It eventually caught up with Cronus; Zeus was his one son who escaped being devoured and grew up to overthrow his father. Cronus was punished for his wickedness by Zeus by being locked into the darkest pits of Hades for all eternity. It also caught up with King Ahaz as God brought judgment on him for butchering his own children. 2 Chronicles 28:5: Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter. It also caught up with King Herod, who died an excruciating death of kidney disease and gangrene. God's judgment fell on him.
That same judgment is coming for this generation, who massacred 54 million of its own children. God is not going to stand back and continue to allow this bloodshed. According to statistics, the Muslim population is the fastest growing in the world, and is expected to explode in the coming years. By the year 2030, it is believed one quarter of the world’s population will be Muslim, while we aborted ourselves out of existence, so we could selfishly “live our lives.” Cronus may not have been real, but his spirit is alive and well and thriving in this generation.
God help this nation.