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.
Nebuchadnezzar could change their names, but he couldn’t change their hearts. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had a God to serve and a stand to make.
The powerful king had made the call for some of Israel’s finest young men. He wanted the brightest and the best. He wanted to indoctrinate and brainwash them in the ways of Babylon. And he wanted them to abandon the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and worship the gods of Babylon instead.
Ancient Babylon was a wonder to behold, filled with jaw-dropping opulence. Yet there was no reverence for the Lord in that place. Everyone cowered in fear in the presence of King Nebuchadnezzar.
It is believed by many commentators that Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were somewhere between the ages of 14 and 19. They were good Jewish boys who had been raised by their parents in the way of the Lord. But their world, as they knew it, changed overnight. Torn away from their families, they were placed in an alien culture of paganism and unparalleled luxury. Up to that point, they would have lived in simple conditions. But they suddenly found themselves in the palace of the most powerful man on earth.
Maybe your world has changed recently. Maybe you were going a certain direction and have unexpectedly found yourself on a different path. Maybe you recently headed to college, and it is an entirely new world for you—and not exactly a world that is supportive of your Christian values. Maybe your business has sent you to a different city, or maybe you are stationed overseas. Here is what you need to know: Wherever you go, God goes with you. He doesn’t live in one place; He is present with all His children. And He hasn’t forgotten about you.
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