Dreams That Speak

by Patti Richter

There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Daniel 2:28 NIV

I woke up wanting to call my grandfather, after dreaming that he was sick, but my day grew busy. I needed to wait until evening, but by then, tired, I forgot all about calling.

My phone rang early the next morning: My mother was calling to say that Grandpa had died of a heart attack in his sleep. In anguish, I realized I’d lost my opportunity to speak with him one last time.

The Bible is sprinkled with accounts of God-given dreams that provided a warning, an encouragement, or a revelation of some future event.

Abraham’s grandson Jacob dreamed of angels ascending and descending on a ladder that reached to heaven. The promise he heard in his dream endures to this day: “The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring” (Genesis 28:18 ESV).  

Jacob’s son Joseph shared two dreams with his brothers that caused them to resent him. After hearing Joseph say, “the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me”(Gen. 37:9 ESV), his brothers sold him to slave traders traveling to Egypt. Years later, in an Egyptian prison, Joseph heard and interpreted the dreams of two former officers of Pharoah. All of these dreams played a part in his eventual rise to power in Egypt (Genesis Chapters 40 and 41).  

Generations later, another Joseph had four dreamsthat each included specific instructions: take Mary as your wife; take the child [Jesus] and his mother to Egypt; return to Israel; settle in the district of Galilee (Matthew 1:20; 2:13, 20, 22).

Besides the patriarchs and prophets, lesser-known figures such as those Egyptian prisoners clearly had God-given dreams. There was a Midianite soldier whose dream encouraged Gideon to attack the enemy camp (Judges 7:13). And the wise men who visited the Christ child were warned in a dream to avoid Herod by traveling back a different way (Matthew 2:12).

The wife of Pontius Pilate sent him a warning while he sat on his judgment seat in view of condemning Jesus to die. Her message said, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream,” (Matthew 27:19 ESV). Her dream likely influenced Pilate, who “took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves’” (v. 24 ESV).

While dreams are subjective experiences and, in general, untrustworthy, God can speak to us through them if he so desires.

Some years ago, I recounted a strange dream to my husband, Jim, over breakfast. He asked me to write down the details, adding, “I think it means something.”

In my dream, the two of us were trudging along a difficult wilderness trail when a snake sprang at us. Shaken but unharmed, we pressed on until we saw—with great relief—a smooth path ahead.

Two weeks later Jim came home with jolting news: he had lost his job. As the months of his challenging job search passed, we kept that dream in mind, believing the Lord had encouraged us that something good was ahead. And, indeed, Jim’s new job served to relocate us closer to our family and carried us all the way to retirement.

The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, … he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:18, 20 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Patti Richter lives in north Georgia with her husband, Jim. She is a freelance journalist and long-time faith columnist at BlueRibbonNews.com with more than four hundred published articles.

Patti is the co-author of the award-winning Signs of His Presence—Experiencing God’s Comfort in Times of Suffering. It is the story of Luann Mire, whose godly husband was blindsided by an indictment due to a former employer’s tax fraud. The resulting prison sentence and restitution took the once joyful couple into a long season of suffering as they fought judicial tyranny. Helpless to change her situation, Luann endured a painful examination of her life and found God faithful to His promises.

Join the conversation: Have you ever had a dream of spiritual significance? Please share!


4 thoughts on “Dreams That Speak

  1. Yes! Am a firm believer in God using dreams. In Job 33:14-17, dreams are used to also as a “last means” effort to get our attention because we’re not listening.

    “Indeed, God speaks once, even twice, yet no one perceives it. “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, as they slumber in bed, Then He opens the ears of men and seals their instruction, in order to turn a man from his conduct and to cover a person’s pride.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for your share about the Biblical references to dreams – as well as your own. I had a dream recently where I was wearing shiny pink gold shoes and climbing the stairs to a golden palace – “I heard no more pit for you your palace is here and it has a ballroom! Put on your dancing shoes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, God does speak to us through dreams. So many times,, I try to find whether is it a warning dream or a confirmation dream… He always follows through to reveal one way or another. Thanks so much for sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

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