Dreams Belong to God Only – Part One
Posted by: Brittney Zellner
What do dreams mean according to the Bible? Does the Bible say some dreams don’t come from God?
In Job, we read that nightmares come from God in order to warn us. A little more explanation of that is here in this blog post.
But what about other biblical evidence that all dreams come from God?
There is no question that Abraham’s dreams, Abimelech’s dreams, Pharoah’s dreams, Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams, the man in the army against Gideon’s dream, Jacob’s dreams, Laban’s dream, Solomon’s dream, the baker’s dream, the cupbearer’s dream, Daniel’s dream, Joseph (stepfather of Jesus)’s dreams and the wife of Pontius Pilate’s dream (Phew! That’s a mouthful…) all came from God.
Every single dream turned out to come true or was a warning. The warnings were that something bad was going to happen if a change didn’t occur immediately.
Every dream was “direction” of some sort, except what seemed a pronouncement of judgment. Either way, these are all the dreams recorded in the entire bible and every single one of them are undisputedly from God. I mean, we are trying to figure out what dreams mean according to the bible right? So where do we get the idea that some dreams don’t come from him?
Some verses in Ecclesiastes are often used as evidence that our mind is sometimes simply busy. They believe that some dreams are simply a physiological side effect of that busy-ness AND that some dreams are meaningless.
“For a dream cometh through the multitude of business, and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.…” Ecclesiastes 5:3
Rashi (a twelfth-century Jewish commentariat) had an interesting take on this verse.
“For a dream comes with much concern: For it is usual for a dream to come because of the many thoughts upon which a person ponders and thinks during the day, and it is usual for the voice of a fool to come with many words, because by increasing his words, he utters a voice of foolishness from his mouth, for [from talking too much] transgression is inevitable; therefore, I say that your words should be few.”
This correlation appears random at first glance and seems to by implying that dreams themselves are like the foolish words that are too numerous. However, in the context of dreams being mainly corrective and directional, it makes sense that when a person spends too much time striving they undoubtedly spend too much time worrying and thinking. They will likely make the big spiritual mistake of lacking faith. If dreams are directions that come to us children when we begin to veer off in the wrong spiritual direction then;
too much talking = eventual verbal mistake
too much thinking (read worrying) = eventual spiritual mistake (no faith)
Not convinced? Take into account these scriptures from 3 chapters previous that speak about the same thing
Ecclesiastes 2:22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night, their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
Solomon is once again equating too much work with anxiety and so much thinking that it causes sleeplessness.
He goes even further to say,
Talking too much does not allow you or others to stop to think and understand so that your faith may grow.
It equates to when you have so many dreams that there is no way to understand any one of them. Dreams take much effort to understand in the same way that children do not automatically understand every word that their father speaks to them.
Some of what our fathers say to us we never understand. Some of what he says we do not even realize we understand it until it’s past the point of helping us and it can only be held onto for future prevention. When God gives you dream after dream to correct you as you continue to go in the wrong direction, what is the point? If you simply righteously fear him from the beginning and trust in him and his will then talking, worrying and trying to figure out all your dreams would be unnecessary.
It’s not that God Himself is doing something vain.
He is a father and fathers will first speak calmly as their children move toward a busy road. The child is clearly distracted. Maybe by his fear of a bee buzzing or his determination to pull his wagon as fast as possible. Calm at first, the father’s voice speeds up and even yells and screams to warn the child of impending doom. The children need only slow down and trust.The dream isn't vain, the worry is vain. Click To Tweet
These wise sayings of Solomon make it evident that both too many words and lack of faith are both meaningless. They do nothing to help you at all. This is plain to see in the context of this scripture.
But what about where the Bible warns that false prophets might use dreams to give weight to their message?
In this next post in the series, we will discuss Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and Jeremiah 23:25-28. Could it be that these verses are not what you think? Perhaps they speak about the corruption of people and not the corruption of dreams? Check out the next blog in this series Dreams Belong to God Only – Part Two where we discover more about what dreams mean according to the bible.
The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. – George Müller (Early 1800’s Christian evangelist and the director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England.)