And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king’s meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. ~~ Daniel 1:5-8 (KJV)
The children of Judah were given entirely new names. Their original names referred to God.
- Daniel – God is my judge
- Hananiah. – Yahweh is gracious
- Mishael – who is like God
- Azariah – God helps
Their new names referred to the Babylonian Gods.
- Shadrach – command of Aku, Babylonian god of the Moon
- Meshach – who is what Aku is
- Abednego – servant of Nego, the Babylonian god of wisdom
The Babylonians were trying to erase all memory of their past lives in these captives.
But Daniel purposed in his heart . . .
Today, we need to emulate Daniel by purposing in our hearts. We have drifted like flotsam on the tides of culture letting them take us where they will. It is time to be decisive about what we will and won’t do, what we will and won’t condone.
You will notice that Daniel didn’t make a fuss about his refusal to eat the king’s meat. He simply made a test bargain with the prince of the eunuchs. He went quietly about his business, never veering from his purpose. Would that we could be so purposeful.
Help us to be like Daniel, faithful to the last breath to You and Your commandments. Grant us the strength of will to continue, no matter what would try to distract us or defeat us. We thank You that You are our All in All.
In Jesus’ most precious name.