Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach, and to Azariah Abeednego (Daniel 1:7,8)
As wicked as Nebuchadnezzar was, he was a great strategist. There is nothing stupid about Satan’s pawns, and Nebuchadnezzar certainly was one of them. The next step in Nebuchadnezzar’s plan was to destroy the identity of his captives by removing their names and replacing them with Babylonian names. Now everyone is equal. That may have been His plan but God remembers His servants and the king cannot change who they really are and God’s purpose for them.
No man, no program, no circumstance can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus and this applies to Daniel and his friends. Throughout the book, Daniel retains his name but he calls himself “Daniel who is called Belteshazzar” Daniel’s Name means “God is my deliverer”. Why would he want to change or forget that? It is this name, given to him at birth that started his journey of faith. Although Nebuchadnezzar was successful in changing their name, he could not change their true identity as God’s ambassadors.
Perhaps as an example we might consider following an Old Testament custom of giving our children names that would motivate them to Godly character. They may be able to change our names but they can’t change who we are especially when we are faithful to our Lord. There is no identity theft in the Kingdom of Heaven; He knows and remembers us all.
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