06 Jan Daniel’s Determination (Part 1)
Kingdom Dynamics Weekly (KDW) January 6, 2020 By Tunde Olugboji Vol 20:01
We are starting a series on Daniel and this week, we will discuss how the Babylonians tried to captivate Daniel and his friends in captivity, through a multi-stage re-education process.
Daniel ’s parents gave him a Hebrew name meaning “God is my judge,” testifying to their faith in the one and only true God. But when Daniel was a teenager, Jerusalem was besieged by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and Daniel and many others suffered the indignity of being taken into captivity.
The first step the Babylonian captors took was to give the captives strange names. Daniel (Daniel 1:6) would have his name changed to Belteshazzar, perhaps in a bid to obliterate the connection to Daniel’s Hebrew legacy and to the true God to whom his name referred.
The Babylonians also changed the names of three of Daniel’s friends who were similarly captured. The young men had been named Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (their names meaning “Jehovah is Gracious,” “Who Belongs to God,” and “Jehovah Helps” respectively). In Babylon they were renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 1:6).
The four Babylonian names described in the book of Daniel seem to refer to false Babylonian gods “Shaduku,” “Meshaku” and “Abednebo” to honor Babylonian pagan deities Bel, Marduk, Aku, and Nebo. In addition to name changes, these young men were put through an intense re-education process for a couple of years, during which time they were taught the language, culture, and literature of the Babylonians before being deployed to the king’s service.
In other words, every possible effort was made to make them forget the God of their people and embrace Babylonian’s pagan culture. But instead, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah remained true to Jehovah throughout their years in Babylon.
I don’t know where you are in your journey at the moment. Perhaps you are in some captivity or the other, maybe emotional, financial or relational captivity, and such captivity is re-educating you in a manner that is making you forget Jesus. Some of us when we are in such captivity and things are not going well, we cut corners and in the process damage to our relationship with God.
A couple of years ago a woman told me about something bad a friend did to her and that it seemed like God was taking too long to intervene, so she took matters into her own hands and approached a “spiritualist” to help make some evil pronouncements upon her friend.
This churchgoing, tongue-talking, bible-reading woman said she was aware of what the Bible says about vengeance, e.g. in Deut. 32:35 (It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them) and Rom 12:19 (Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord). However, she said her pain pushed her to go the route she normally wouldn’t go.
This new month, new year and new decade, will you take a stand like Daniel and his friends and declare that no matter how hot the furnace may be, nothing will take you away from the path of worshipping the one and only true God.
Have a great week. And a happy 2020.