Order of Worship
Hear God call you to worship through his word:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
— Ephesians 1:3
Song 1 – Blessed Be Your Name
Song 2 – 10,000 Reasons
Song 3 – Your Will Be Done
Song 4 – Lead On, O King Eternal
Our welcome team members will pass an offering basket during this song.
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Praise God, from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Please join in reading together the following prayer written by Martin Luther, as we take some time now in our gathered worship to confess our sin before God and each other:
O Lord, I do not deserve a glimpse of heaven, and I am unable with my works to redeem myself from sin, death, the devil, and hell. Nevertheless, you have given me your Son Jesus Christ, who is far more precious and dear than heaven, and much stronger than sin, death, the devil, and hell. For this I rejoice, praise, and thank you, O God. Without cost and out of pure grace you have given me this boundless blessing in your dear Son. Through him you take sin, death, and hell from me, and do grant me all that belongs to him. Amen.
— Martin Luther
Having confessed our sin, we take comfort in the words of Isaiah 53:4–6 and we receive once again full assurance of God’s gracious forgiveness to us. Let us gratefully proclaim the truth of forgiveness to each other, as we read Isaiah 53:4-6 together:
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
— Isaiah 53:4–6
We join with the voices of countless believers throughout time to confess with one voice what we believe about the Christian faith.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God;
begotten of the Father before all worlds;
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God –
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made.
Who, for us men and for our salvation,
came down from heaven
and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried;
and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures;
and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father;
and he shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord and Giver of life;
who proceeds from the Father and the Son;
who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified;
who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe in one holy catholic* and apostolic church.
I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
* Note that the word catholic with a lower letter “c” does not refer to a specific denomination or indeed the Catholic church (with a capital C). Rather, the term “catholic” comes from two Greek words that together mean “throughout the whole.” The word, “catholic” with a lower case “c” means throughout all times and places, and it speaks to the essential unity or wholeness of the wider church in Jesus Christ.
The Handwriting on the Wall
5 King Belshazzar made a great feast for a thousand of his lords and drank wine in front of the thousand.
2 Belshazzar, when he tasted the wine, commanded that the vessels of gold and of silver that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem be brought, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought in the golden vessels that had been taken out of the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.
5 Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace, opposite the lampstand. And the king saw the hand as it wrote. 6 Then the king’s color changed, and his thoughts alarmed him; his limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. 7 The king called loudly to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the astrologers. The king declared to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and shows me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or make known to the king the interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly alarmed, and his color changed, and his lords were perplexed.
10 The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banqueting hall, and the queen declared, “O king, live forever! Let not your thoughts alarm you or your color change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods were found in him, and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father—your father the king—made him chief of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and astrologers, 12 because an excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”
Daniel Interprets the Handwriting
13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king answered and said to Daniel, “You are that Daniel, one of the exiles of Judah, whom the king my father brought from Judah. 14 I have heard of you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15 Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me to read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not show the interpretation of the matter. 16 But I have heard that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another. Nevertheless, I will read the writing to the king and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father kingship and greatness and glory and majesty. 19 And because of the greatness that he gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whom he would, he killed, and whom he would, he kept alive; whom he would, he raised up, and whom he would, he humbled. 20 But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was brought down from his kingly throne, and his glory was taken from him. 21 He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will. 22 And you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this, 23 but you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.
24 “Then from his presence the hand was sent, and this writing was inscribed. 25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: Mene, Mene, Tekel, and Parsin. 26 This is the interpretation of the matter: Mene, God has numbered[g] the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; 27 Tekel, you have been weighed in the balances and found wanting;28 Peres, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”
29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and Daniel was clothed with purple, a chain of gold was put around his neck, and a proclamation was made about him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
30 That very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed. 31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.
God Rules in Judgement
Daniel chapter 5
- A Blasphemous Party vv 1-4
- A Terrifying Portent vv 5-12
- A Devastating Pronouncement vv 13-31
Song 5 – Man of Sorrows
Song 6 – Christ Be Magnified
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come;
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have sinned against us.
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
-Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)
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In particular, please note our Basics to Christianity class from Feb 12th to March 12th – all are welcome.
Read Daniel chapter 5.
- From a first reading of the chapter, what do you think is the key message for believers? For unbelievers?
Into the Text (Use as a review spend max 15 minutes)
- What is the significance of Belshazzar using the vessels from God’s temple in his party (vv. 1-4)?
- What can the wise men of Babylon do for Belshazzar (vv. 7-9)? What does this teach us about human wisdom?
- How do the queen and Belshazzar view Daniel? (vv. 10-16)
- How does Daniel address Belshazzar and what is the significance of this? (v. 17)
- What is the background to Belshazzar’s judgment? (vv. 18-24)
- What does the writing on the wall mean? (vv. 25-28) What do you make of Belshazzar’s response? (v. 29)
- God’s judgment is swift and final. Do you think it is fair? (vv. 30-31)
- What do we learn from this chapter (and God’s dealings with Belshazzar) about God’s sovereignty in salvation?
- What do we learn about human power and pride?
- What do we learn about human wisdom?
- How does God hold people accountable?
- Why will people not repent? What does God’s judgement mean in the end?
- How does this motivate us in evangelism?
Close in Prayer.