Their names were changed. Have you ever done a name change? When I was thirteen I added the name Marie to my middle name. When I applied for my driver’s license I added my second middle name to my license, without question or legal proof of the addition. Times were much different when I was 16!
Nebuchadnezzar took these four noble men of Israel, not coincidentally, from the lineage of Jesus, the tribe of Judah, and fed them daily delicacies from his own kitchen. He placed them in training for three years at which time they would serve the king. But, he changed their names.
But God had named them first.
- Daniel’s name means God is my judge.
- Hananiah’s name means God has been gracious.
- Mishael’s name means who is what God is?
- Azariah’s name means God has helped me.
As mentioned earlier, they were in training for three years before they would begin to serve the king. It can be like that in our life at times. We feel, sense, hear God’s call and anointing on our life but there is preparation to do.
When God calls us to His will for our life He begins by training us. Sometimes training is short and sometimes it can be a long process. He is always gracious and kind to show us each next step when He feels we are ready to move on.
Many times training involves an assessment of our heart by us. Perhaps there are things we are to confess and repent of so we can receive God’s healing and deliverance.
Training reminds us to be patient and wait for God to move. Many times easier said than done. However, we can trust that He has His will for our life under control. Our responsibility is to do only what he shows us regardless of all our wonderful ideas! As God trains us He opens doors of opportunity for us according to His timing and not any sooner.
Like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who identified with the tribe of Judah, our identity is in Jesus the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Nebuchadnezzar had their names changed to those of Babylonian god’s. As if that would cause them to disobey God. Their Hebrew names say it all, especially later in their story when they would find themselves in a fiery furnace.
- God judged them worthy and righteous not to die.
- God was gracious to them.
- God helped them.
- God reminded Nebuchadnezzar that no one is like God!
Our faithfulness is to God alone. These four men are excellent examples of a life lived believing in and trusting God. And we can be confident that whatever name the enemy calls us. God calls us His.