The Power of Naming
There is power in a name. It makes us. It forms us, and gives us a sense of identity an role. We know we exist when we hear our name called. We know what is it store for us in how our name is called. The power to name anything or anyone forms and creates...and the ability to abuse and control flows from the power to take a name, or impose another in its place.
Daniel is no longer Daniel. He is now Belteshezzar. He is no longer "God is my judge." He is now "Bel protect the king." Along with Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abednego), he is claimed from among his people into the service of the king. That is the power of renaming...the chief official with this act attempts to sever these men from their families, their heritage, their life apart from the life of the court of the High King.
What makes this book so powerful is that despite this renaming, we still know Daniel as....Daniel. Every action he takes, every decision, is bound in this name. "God is my judge" does not fail to remember who he is, even in the face of fortune or (later on) misfortune. He maintains his fidelity to God.
In a world where labels abound, where we are always being named and claimed by any number of factions and authorities in this life...how do you claim your name? From whom does it come? What does your name say about you? What can you say about your name?