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God's Word For Today

Daily Devotional

What Is in a Name?

Read Daniel 1:1 through 2:49; 1 Peter 2:1–25

According to Social Security statistics from 2020, the most popular names in the United States for boys were Noah, Liam, Oliver, and Elijah. The top four girls’ names were Ava, Emma, Olivia, and Charlotte. Parents choose a child’s name for many reasons, such as its meaning, family significance, and the sound of it.


Many biblical characters had “el” (Daniel, Joel) or “ah” (Isaiah, Jeremiah) in their names, referencing God. Jewish parents understood the significance of those names and hoped their boys would reflect God. When the Babylonian empire took captives from Israel, it changed some young men’s names to reflect their gods instead of honoring the God of Israel.


The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego (Daniel 1:7).


No matter what name you are given or remembered by, your character is what truly makes you stand out. Let your actions show whom you serve.  


Prayer Suggestion: Father, regardless of the names we are given, may we honor You in all we do.

Quicklook: Daniel 1:3–7