Sunday, September 27, 2020

Decide

Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.” – Daniel 1:6-7 

Being renamed when in captivity may have seemed like nothing but a language change.  But I found that it was much more.  King Nebuchadnezzar was looking to make these young men his mentees, his “cream of the crop”.  But in doing so, he was changing their identity, removing the lifestyle God had given them.  He wanted them to eat foods that were not kosher, not approved by God’s word.  He wanted them to become the people he sought them to be and leave behind who they were.  He gave them pagan names, and placed that characterization on each of them.

 Daniel’s Hebrew name meant “God is my judge”.  He was renamed Belteshazzar, which meant “lord of the straitened’ s treasure”.  Straitened is a characterization of poverty.

 Hananiah’s Hebrew name meant “God has favored”. He was renamed Shadrach, which means “royal, the great scribe, little friend of the king’.

Mishael’s Hebrew name meant “Who is what God is”.  He was renamed Meshach, which means “guest of the king”.

Azariah’s Hebrew name meant “Jehovah has helped”.  But he was renamed Abednego, which means “servant of Nebo, worshipper of Mercury”, a pagan god.

But Daniel “purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself”.  He decided.  He decided he would rather die than give up the life he was living for God.   What did God do in return?  “Now GOD had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs”, which is the person in charge of these four young men. 

Friends, when you stand against the things of this world, and choose to, DECIDE to, stand for God, you will not stand alone.  Don’t be afraid to be a Christian who is openly a Christian.  We are who God made us, and He needs us to be who we are.  This world will try to make you who they want you to be.  They will try to rename you, label you, and give you a character they want.  STAND STRONG.  God stands with you.  Christians are not the weak minded, na├»ve, gullible uneducated people believing a fairy tale! 

What if Daniel and his friends had just gone along with King Nebuchadnezzar?  For one, Daniel would not have been God’s prophet.  We wouldn’t have the book of Daniel that speaks of the end times.  We wouldn’t have to story of Daniel in the Lions Den, and how God protects us.  Friends, each of us plays a specific role in this world.  That role was cast when God created you.  Live it out to His command. 

We are coming close to an election where out Leader will change.  We’re in a world that satan swarms with all sorts of evil.  Make up your mind, DECIDE now, will you stand with God knowing that He will stand with you?  Or will you let the world decide your life?  It’s not popular to be a Christian, but popularity is based on the favor of man.  I choose, I decide, to seek the favor of God.  What about you?