THREE COMMITTED YOUNG MEN – Introduction to Lesson 10 – Nov. 17 – 24

Do you have any idea what your name means? Did you give your children a name that was based on the meaning of it? In many other places and times it has been far more important to give a child a name that would hopefully represent his/her character or destiny or had some prophetic idea within in it than it is in our culture today. Typically Americans like the sound of the name, have admired someone known by it, are drawn to the novelty of it, or for some unknown reason it just is appealing. Did you have any idea that there is actually a word for the study of the names of human beings? It is anthroponomastics. However you feel about your name, it is a major part of your reputation. It represents your identity.

Did you know that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were the new Chaldean names that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia gave to 3 of the finest and brightest of the young men who were taken captive and brought from Jerusalem to his palace? Evidently he wanted to wipe out their former identity so that they would begin to worship him. Their Hebrew names were Hananiah, which meant “God (Yah) is gracious”, Mishael, meant “Who is like God?” and Azariah, “Yah has helped”. Their new names were all associated with different Babylonian deities. One of the wonderful traits of these young men, along with their companion whose original name was Daniel, and new name became Belteshazzar, was their level of commitment to the Most High God. No offer of security, comfort and wealth detracted them from their faith in God. No threat of punishment or death would change their minds. Their convictions determined their behavior rather than their circumstances.

If you had the opportunity to choose a new name for yourself, what would be the character trait or inference that you would want it to convey?

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