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“Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; And to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego.”
Have you ever felt the world pulling you to change? Have you ever felt the need to be someone you are not to be accepted? These four Israelite boys knew what it meant to be forced to change.
Each of these Israelite boys had a meaning to their name, Daniel: God is my Judge. Hananiah: The LORD is gracious. Misheal: Who is like God. Azariah: YHWH has helped. These boys were connected to their family, their faith, and their heritage by their names. Hananiah was changed to Shadrach meaning Command of Aku (the moon god of Babylon). To Misheal, they gave Meshach meaning who is what Aku is? For Azariah, they named him Abed-nego meaning Servant of Nebo (The Babylonian god of wisdom). For David, they gave him the name Belteshazzar meaning Ba’al protects his life. The king of the time snatched them from their homes, took them to a foreign land, forced them to learn a new language, and stripped them of their identity.
This world is going to try and point us in any direction other than to God. What did these four men do at this point? They stood stronger for the Lord their God! In the face of the enemy they proclaimed their love for their God. Three of these men are the ones who were found in the fiery furnace, escaping without even a singed hair. Daniel is the one who survived the lion den and went on to serve God by speaking truth to the kings of Babylon.
Can we do the same? Can we, in the face of this world trying to push us away from God, proclaim that we love God: with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might? Are we willing to stand up and stand strong for the Lord our God?