Proverbs 22:1 ESV
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 ESV
A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.
Isaiah 62:2 ESV
The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.
Proverbs 18:10 ESV
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
What’s in a name? EVERYTHING! If we were to ask Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they would tell you the same…that’s not my name! [wait…what?!] But we sang the songs as kids in children’s church. We read the stories in vacation bible school. What do you mean that’s not their names?
The book of Daniel tells us about three Hebrew men: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. These three brave Hebrews take a stand against the king of Babylon, refuse to bow to an idol, and are thrown into a burning fiery furnace. For me, the interesting part of the story is not the miracle because we SHOULD have that kind of faith. The interesting part of the story is failing to recognize their God-given names and referencing their pagan names.
Shadrach means “command of the moon god.” [PAGAN]
Meshach means “who is Aku.” [PAGAN]
Abednego means “slave of the god Nebo.” [PAGAN]
These names were given to the men when they were besieged by the Babylonian king. These pagan names were meant to erase their faith and identity in Israel’s (AND OUR) god, YWHW.
We must never forget that in the original Hebrew, Shadrach was named Hananiah, which means “God is gracious.”
Meshach was Mishael, which means “who is God?”
Abednego was Azariah, means “God has helped.“
I do NOT find it ironic that these names bring the focus back to the One true God!
Dear believer, the enemy wants nothing more than to change your identity in Christ, which means to take your focus off of the CREATOR and onto yourself, the world, or others, which means idols! [pause! breathe!]
~Hello my name is NOT unwanted, I am bought with a price [1 Corinthians 6:20]
~Hello my name is NOT sick, I am healed by His stripes [Isaiah 53:5]
~Hello my name is NOT lowly, I am blessed and highly favored [Luke 1:28]
~Hello my name is NOT foreigner, WE are ONE in Christ Jesus [Galatians 3:28]
~Hello my name is NOT weak, I am strong in Christ [Philippians 4:13]
~Hello my name is NOT depression, I am upheld by God’s right hand [Isaiah 41:10]
~Hello my name is NOT unforgiven, I am cleansed from all unrighteousness [1 John 1:9]
~Hello my name is NOT condemnation, I am approved in Christ [Romans 8:1]
~Hello my name is NOT hopeless, I am life in Christ [John 10:10]
~Hello my name is NOT lost, I am the one He left the ninety-nine for! [Luke 15:4]
Yes, I would say there’s POWER in names!
What are you calling yourself? Has the devil renamed you like the men in the book of Daniel? Are you accepting an identity other than what God has named you?
Today, I say ENOUGH! We must remind the enemy on a daily basis who our daddy is and who He says we are: “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:17
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