What’s in a name?
—William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Names today often don’t mean much. Many parents try to select a unique name for their child instead of giving thought to its religious significance. That’s how you end up with babies named for a fruit, color, or direction. In Daniel’s day, parents chose names impregnated with meaning for the present as well as hope for the future. The name Daniel ends with the Hebrew word El, which is the singular form of Elohim, the Hebrew word for God. The full name means “God is my Judge.”1 Daniel’s parents were intentional when they named him. But when Daniel came to Babylon, one of the first things his captors did was change his name to Belteshazzar, which means “O Lady, protect the king!” Lady was a reference to the mythological wife of the Babylonian deity “Bel.”2 It was King Nebuchadnezzar’s way of “Babylonianizing” Daniel.
Your name is important too. When you put your faith in Jesus and believe in Him as your Savior, then your name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). The God of the universe knows you by name. Isaiah 43:1 says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!” What a wonderful promise of God’s redemptive love for His children! As you strive for godliness and kingdom parenting in modern-day Babylon, remember God has redeemed you. He sacrificed His own Son to adopt you into His family, has called you by name. You are His, so praise His name!
1. Do you know what your name means? (If not, look it up on the Internet or find out at the library!) How about your kids’ names?
2. What are the practical implications of spiritual adoption on your life?
3. How can you use your child’s name to teach him or her about God?
God, Your name is above all other names. Thank You for calling me by name. Help my children to know the
power in their name and Yours. Amen.
An excerpt taken from Raising Kingdom Kids. Discover more at RaisingKingdomKids.org.