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by Bob and Debby Gass

Let God name you


In the Bible and still in many cultures today, names are given for more reasons other than just because it sounded nice. Often there were times in the Bible when people were given a name as a child and God totally changed their name to fit what He had planned for them. Maybe you’re like Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. No idea who they are? In the Bible King Nebuchadnezzer renamed them Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. When the King made a giant golden statue of himself, these guys refused to bow down and worship it. The names Nebuchadnezzer gave them were all pagan names which express worship to idols. The real names of the three Hebrew children were; Hananiah, meaning ‘Jehovah is gracious’; Mishael, meaning ‘Who is like God’; and Azariah, meaning ‘Jehovah has helped.’ When they refused to bow down the King threw them into a fiery furnace but it was the names God gave them that came through. There’s nothing like trouble to bring out your true identity! Can you imagine these boys shouting when they came out of the fiery furnace? One would say, ‘Who is like God?’ Another would lift his hands and shout, ‘Jehovah is gracious!’ The other would smell his clothes, touch his hair and declare, ‘Jehovah has helped!’ The King tried to change the name on the package but he couldn’t change what was on the inside. God has given you a similar identity as His child. Whatever others may say, You are whom your Heavenly Father says you are. Whatever you may be called, whatever labels and words people call you, they can’t change who you really are.

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