Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's in a Name?

I will always remember naming our first born daughter Serenity. The summer before getting married I had read a Reader's Digest book (remember those?) called I Take Thee Serenity. It was a love story about a young lady that had been named for her grandmother. She hated the name and everything about it. Her life was anything but peaceful. That is until the summer after she graduates from high school. She goes and spends the summer with her grandmother whom she is named after. Grandma Serenity (boy does that sound weird!) lives a simple life on a farm. During the summer she models for her granddaughter true peace. The younger Serenity finally embraces the peacefulness that has escaped her till then, by the end of the book. After reading it I told myself that if I ever had a daughter I would name her Serenity. Why? Because I wanted to give to my daughter what I had never had growing up and that was true peace. As a disclaimer my Serenity found the book during her teen years and read it. Apparently I had forgotten some parts because the Serenity in the book does some things not in line with scripture so I don't want you to run out and get the book! The point is this. Naming our daughter was something we did not take lightly. We wanted a name that she could grow into. We were giving her a legacy to live up to.

With that in mind let's go back to Daniel chapter 1. When all the young, tall, dark and handsome guys get taken to Babylon the first thing that is done to assimilate them is to change their names. Good old King "Neb" knows that in order to make these Israelites into good Babylonians they need to change who they are. Let me show you what happens.

1. Daniel means in Hebrew God is my judge, he was renamed Belteshazaar after the pagan god Bel which means "bel will protect."

2. Hananiah means Yah has been gracious for Yahweh, he was renamed Shadrach and it means "inspired of Aku", another pagan god.

3. Mishael means, Who is what God is? but his name is changed to Meshach which means "belonging to Aku."

4. Azariah meant Yah has helped but his name is changed to Abednego which means "servant of Nego."

The Babylonians were not stupid. They knew how to conquer people. They also knew that if they changed their names they would be reshaping who they were. Their very names gave them identity. God did some renaming of his own. Remember Abram, Sarai, Jacob?

When you and I became Christians we were also renamed, did you know that? We were spiritually born into the royal priesthood. We became daughters of the King! Don't ever forget that.

Till tomorrow
In Christ Alone,

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".


  1. That is the precise reason we have chosen to rename our children when they are adopted. We give them a name the Lord puts on our hearts. They have been set aside by the Lord for a special purpose and they have a new name to go along with that. Name meaning is something we take into huge consideration when naming them!

  2. Amen Jolene. Each of our children whether they are adopted or not was named for a particular reason.