Saturday, June 12, 2010

Daniel - Week 1: Day 4

Day 4 - Renaming and Resisting

Daniel 1: 6-7 tells us that the names of Daniel and his friends were changed from their Hebrew names.  This is another one of those times that I enjoy these kinds of studies.  The meanings of names in the Bible have always fascinated me so today's study was very interesting for me.  The following is from the study, with the meanings of the names in brackets.

Daniel (God is my Judge) was renamed Belteshazzar (Bel will protect)

Hananiah (Yah has been gracious) was renamed Shadrach (inspired of Aku)

Mishael (Who is what God is?) was renamed Meshach (belonging to Aku)

Azariah (Yah has helped) was renamed Abednego (servant of Nego)

All of the Hebrew names referenced God and all of the Babylonian names referenced false gods.  The change to their names was just another way to submerge them into the Babylonian culture and get them further away from God. 

This then reminded me of cult practices now.  Their intention is to pull you as far away from society and outside influences so that the brainwashing is more effective.  Some people view Christianity as a cult, but as I was thinking down this path I realized that being a Christian is the exact opposite of being in a cult.  A cult will intentionally close themselves off from the world, while a Christian is called to bring the Gospel message to all the world!

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