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Interpreting Our Dreams

Did you have a dream-filled sleep last night? It is quite likely that you did, for on average, humans spend about two hours dreaming each night, with each dream usually lasting between 5 to 20 minutes.

Next, did you remember what you dreamt about? For some, their dreams and any recollection of them vanish into the ether the moment they awake, but for others, they have vivid memories of what they dreamt about. Scientists are still unable to discern conclusively why some people can remember their dreams better than others.

Finally, did you ever wonder what your dreams meant? Many people seek to interpret and give meaning to their dreams, and whole industries have sprung up catering to this desire. When one Googles the phrase “dream interpretation”, there are over 500 million search results!

2,600 years ago, there was a king of Babylon called Nebuchadnezzar, who had a dream that troubled him and caused him to lose sleep over it (Daniel 2:1). He commanded that his “wise men” tell him the interpretation of the dream – but in order for him to know that their interpretation was correct, he demanded that they first tell him the dream (Daniel 2:9). His “wise men” tried stalling for time, but were eventually forced to tell the king that no one could fulfil Nebuchadnezzar’s request, except the “gods, whose dwelling is not in flesh” (Daniel 2:10-11). Subsequently, Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he could provide him with both the dream and its interpretation, but only because “there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets” (Daniel 2:27-28), whom Daniel had prayed to, to ask for this secret to be revealed (Daniel 2:19).

What can we learn from this? Firstly, we see that the desire to understand and interpret our dreams is an age-old desire, and it is “nothing new under the sun”. Secondly, we see that although there may be charlatans, frauds, and scammers who claim to be able to interpret dreams, the way to know whether their interpretation is correct is for them to first tell us the dream itself – which they cannot possibly do. Thirdly, nothing is hidden from the God of Heaven – not our dreams nor their meaning.

Brethren, in times past, God indeed spoke to men like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in times past through dreams and visions and prophets (Hebrews 1:1), but today, He only speaks to us through His Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:2). Jesus further said that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to teach the apostles all things and to guide them into all truth (John 14:26; 16:13). Thus, when we want to know how to live a life that pleases God, our one and only source must be the Bible – the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17) that records the words of Jesus, as well as the teachings of the apostles and prophets, who are respectively the chief cornerstone and the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20-22).

Let us not dabble in pointless behaviour like trying to decipher the meaning of our dreams – those secret things belong to God, but the things that have been revealed to us in His Word belong to us forever, that we may do all the words of the Law (cf. Deuteronomy 29:29).


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