What is in a Name?

Matthew 1:21   “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

I subscribe to many email newsletters.  I admit that I don’t read every one but sometimes an article catches my eye.  This morning I found an eNewsletter with the interesting title, “A Famous Trio.”

The article started out listing many famous trios and I read on.  It was then that the author of the article broke one of my all time taboos.  He used the demonic names of a famous bible trio instead of their God honoring names.

Of course I refer to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  I would guess that in any church, those names would be very Recognizable, but their God honoring Hebrew names would only be known by a small number.  Why is that?

There are many people who’s names were changed in the Scriptures that are well known with.  For example:

  • Abram’s name was changed to Abraham
  • Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah
  • Simon’s name was changed to Peter
  • Saul’s name was changed to Paul

These are changes that God made, defining their character.  We use their names interchangeably and do not lose the meaning.

My beef comes when we refer to four young men in the Bible by their Babylonian names rather than their given names.

Look in your Bible in the opening chapter of Daniel and you will see this story.  Many young men were swept into bondage when Babylon captured the nation Israel.  These young men were the brightest of the nation.  But in order to “brain wash” them into the new surroundings and culture, they were given new Babylonian names.

Daniel was one of them and his name was changed to Belteshazzar.  The name Daniel means “God is my judge,” but his Babylonian name of Belteshazzar, means “Bel Protect the King.”  Bel is a god of the Babylonians.  We do not refer to Daniel by his Babylonian name but by his Hebrew name that has such power; “God is my judge.”

Why then does the world only remember the names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?  These three young men deserve much better than this.  I would not want to be remembered by the name a conquering nation gave me.  I would want to be remembered by the God honoring name my parents gave me.

I must confess that I grow weary when people use the Babylonian name instead of their Hebrew names.  Names were so important in the Bible.  When you look at the Babylonian meanings of these three, perhaps you will understand my opposition.

  • Shadrach means “Command of Aku,” Aku was a Babylonian god.
  • Meshach means “Who is what Aku is?”
  • Abednego means ““Servant of Nego,” which was the Babylonian god of vegetation.

So what were these young men’s names?  I am glad you asked.

  • Hananiah, “the Lord is Gracious,”
  • Mishael’s Hebrew name meant “Who is like the Lord?”
  • Azariah, “the Lord is my Helper,”

Look at the powerful Hebrew names compared to the demonic names given and decide how you will remember them in the future.

  • Hananiah – “the Lord is gracious” to Shadrach -“Command of Aku”
  • Mishael – “Who is like the Lord” to Meshach – “Who is what Aku is?”
  • Azariah – “The Lord is my Helper” to Abednego – “Servant of Nego”

Daniel 1:7 7 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.

Those are my thoughts.  What are yours?

Bob Crowder

What is your Legacy?

Bob Crowder Family
Bob Crowder Family

Proverbs 13:22   A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children…


What is your legacy?  What will people remember you by?  How will they remember you?

When my oldest son was in the five or six, we were sitting in our den in Coast Guard housing in Elizabeth City, North Carolina just listening to some Christian music.  He was enjoying the music, but as I was watching him, his facial expression changed.  I asked him if he would like to listen to something else and he said no.  I asked him if he was ‘ok’ and he said he was.

Suddenly, as if working up the courage, he asked me the most difficult question I ever had to answer.

“Daddy, when I get older, will I look like you?”  I laughed and said that I certainly hope not, you will be much better looking than me.  He said, “no, I mean will I look like you?’  “Do you want to look like me” I asked.  His reply took the wind right out of my sails, to coin a nautical statement.  “Yes” he replied.

I now knew that I had a very serious question that needed an answer, but I didn’t know where to start.  So I just asked that juvinile question, “Why would you want to look like me?’  His answer hit me in the gut. 

 “I want to look like you so that after you are dead, that people will see you in me.” 

I am not an emotional man that cries easily, but tears started flowing freely, I was humbled, proud, happy and awed by his desire.  I just hugged him and told him that while he probalby would not look just like me, people indeed would see me in him by the kind of man he grew up to be.  That seemed to satisfy him and we listened to more music.  As we did, I thought about the verse, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children..”.  How important is the legacy or inheritance that we leave behind us?  I would say it is priceless.

What is a legacy if nothing more than the imprint that you leave on this world?  People will remember you not so much from the pictures they see of you, but by your actions and the indelible imprint on you will have on the lives of others.

This is a difficult subject, and yet, by centering our thinking in this way, we could change our current actions into ones that will be remembered in the way we would want them to be remembered. All our actions of yesterday are just that. They are in the past. We can make a change starting today!

What will your legacy be?