In my dream last night I was taking the Queen to Tesco’s and I planned to introduce her to Anchor butter. The Queen didn’t look or sound like our queen but she was the Queen. We saw a friend who I called out to but she didn’t hear and I thought, that’s a shame, you’re missing out on an opportunity to meet the Queen. It’s weird I know but I’ve had much weirder dreams and I guess you have too. It’s really strange what our minds can do when we’re asleep and the pictures they conjure up, and we shouldn’t lay any store by them. They’re just wild imaginings.
Having said that God has used dreams to speak to people and to reveal his plans, but they’re extremely rare exceptions and not the norm. Jacob had a dream where he saw a ladder reaching from heaven to earth and angels ascending and descending. It signalled several things, one being that there is a heavenly, spiritual realm with which we can interact and it’s there where God lives. Jacob’s son Joseph had two dreams which angered his family because in both they were subservient to him. His brothers grew to hate him and when the opportunity arose they sold him into slavery in Egypt. It was there where he interpreted dreams leading eventually to him becoming effectively the Prime Minister of Egypt whose planning, guided by God, led to the Eastern world surviving during a terrible famine. Not only his family, but everyone was subservient to Joseph at that time. Some dreams do come true when God is involved.
A king of the Babylonian empire, Nebuchadnezzar, had a dream that troubled him and he asked his magicians and such like to interpret the dream for him, but he insisted they tell him the dream first. No one could of course. Men can’t interpret dreams, a point made by a Jewish exile called Daniel who was able to recount the dream and interpret it. Daniel said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: To you, O king, as you lay in bed came thoughts of what would be after this, and he who reveals mysteries made known to you what is to be. But as for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because of any wisdom that I have more than all the living, but in order that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your mind.” (1) God alone can give dreams that are significant and he alone can reveal them. There are people today who still claim to have powers that belong only to God. Have nothing to do with them.
Perhaps the best-known dreams are those associated with the event we’ve just celebrated called Christmas. If you recall the story Wise Men travelled from the East to see the one who was born to be king, the one we call Jesus. They assumed that Herod would know of his whereabouts so went to him first. It’s not something Herod was happy about so he deceived the Wise Men asking that they return to him after they’d found the new king so that he also could go and worship. His plans were much more sinister though. The Wise Men found the new king and gave him gifts. They fully intended to return to Herod afterwards but God intervened to protect the king, his Son. The Wise Men were warned in a dream not to return to Herod so they left by an alternate route. When Herod heard this his true self came out into the open and he instructed that all baby boys from two years old and under, born in the vicinity of Bethlehem, should be killed. What a wicked man.
Joseph was due to marry Mary, a happy arrangement until he discovered she was pregnant which suggested she had been with another man. He was going to have nothing more to do with her but he was spoken to in a dream. This dream was so important that we’re told it was spoken by an angel of the Lord, a heavenly creature of great importance. He said to Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (2) It’s to Joseph’s credit that he accepted what he had been told and took Mary as his wife. They wouldn’t have married immediately following Jewish customs, so both Joseph and Mary would have been subjected to gossip and finger-pointing which they accepted in obedience to God. In so doing God’s Son Jesus was able to be born and raised in a family environment where he was loved and cherished. Jesus should still be loved and cherished in every home. What place does he have in yours?
- Daniel 2:27,28
- Matthew 1:20,21