What’s in a Name?

Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.

Daniel 1:6-7 ESV

Nebuchadnezzer brought these youths into his fold. He tok them from their suffering (the famine and disease that befell Judah before its destruction) and laid before them the splendor of his own household, his own wealth. Then his chief eunuch gave them new names.

Names have power and in giving a new name, they were erasing the young men’s pasts. It created a dividing line. “Before you were that person and you suffered in that way. Now you are called this name and you have the finest wealth from the greatest empire in the world.”

[…] and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.

Isaiah 62:2 ESV

God gives us a new name when we come into salvation and reconciliation with Him. He doesn’t call us by our old ways. He renames us and then prepares a portion from His own table to give to us. He prepares us, giving us the tools that we need to go out and be His Ambassadors in this world.

He Removes the Old Name.

God removes our old man completely. We stand in righteousness before Him with Jesus as our High Priest and Intercessor. When we come into His saving grace, everything about the old us is done away with. He no longer remembers our sins of old, our old self, so why would He call us by a name that no longer applies to us.

I think of Naomi in Ruth. When she returned to Jerusalem, Naomi told everyone to call her by a new name, Mara, because she had dealt with countless sorrow. She was bitter with sorrow. That’s what she identified with. (Ruth 1:20-21)

When Jesus called Simon, He renamed him Peter. (John 1:42) From then on that is what he was most known by, the name Peter.

Think of the apostle Paul. He was first called Saul of Tarsus, but when he had a revelation of Who Jesus is, and who he was in Jesus, Saul of Tarsus became Paul. He was a completely new man.

What name is God calling you? I can assure you, it is not the name of your old self. Who you were before your salvation is no longer who you are now.

Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation–the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new!

2 Corinthians 5:17 CJB

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