Don’t Forget Your Name
Posted: Saturday, November 25
1 Peter 3:8-4:6
Verse of the day:
“Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were four of the young men chosen, all from the tribe of Judah.” (Daniel 1:6 NLT)
I was twelve when our youth pastor’s wife made a special announcement. They were expecting a baby boy, and the name they chose was . . . (drum roll please) . . . Azariah. I remember thinking, “Azariah?! Who names their kid Azariah?” I’m sure that now I’d be more openminded, but at that point my community was mostly blue collar hispanic and white families so Joe or Jose was the ‘go to’ options.
I soon learned that Azariah was the original Hebrew name of Abednego . . . as in . . . Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. Every church kid knew THIS story, but who knew we’d been dealing with an alias? The flannel board lied to me!
If you’ve never heard the story of Azariah, Mishael, and Hananiah, here’s a quick summary. The three Hebrew children were given three Hebrew names at birth. Azariah and Hananiah both end with the suffix -iah or -yah which is short for Yahweh. Mishael ends with the suffix -el which is short for Elohim. When the young men were captured, the babylonians changed their names. Abednego, for example, means Servant of Nabu, a babylonian god of wisdom. In this foreign land, their identities were erased, and yet . . . Azariah never forgot his name. In the great test of Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace, the Hebrew children didn’t forget their identity, and they didn’t forget their God.
I believe that this culture is daily attacking the identity of the children of God. When we forget our name, we forget the one who named us. You are a child of God, and HE knows YOU by name.