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A Christian perspective on dreams
I've done some research on dreams in the Bible, and put together short descriptions of each type of dream covered. The Bible doesnt cover any of the non-Christian spiritual dreams that people experience, so I dont know what the commonly held Christian belief is on those, and I wouldnt try to venture a guess.
These are the types of dreams I will cover:
Warning Dreams Dreams Concerning the Will of God Dreams
Caused by the Business of the Day
Anyone can have a prophetic dream from God. The purposes of these dreams are varied, but usually concern things of direct relevance to the dreamer. For example, Joseph had dreams concerning his future, and Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar had dreams concerning the future of their countries.
The meanings of prophetic dreams and visions are not apparent, and require an interpretation. The Bible calls them dark sayings. And he said, Hear now my words, If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak to him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches. God is able to give understanding to people concerning these dreams. The Bible says that the meaning of prophetic dreams belongs to God (Genesis 40:8). This is most evident in the case of Daniel when King Nebuchadnezzar forgot his dream and required his wise men to tell him the dream and its meaning. Only God knew the dream and could reveal it to Daniel.
Warning dreams in the Bible are straight forward. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken, for she is a mans wife. The angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. Dreams Concerning the Will of God Dreams concerning the will of God are similar to warning dreams, where God or an angel appears and clearly says what a person should do. But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared unto Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young childs life.
Dreams Caused by the Business of the Day
Maybe the main reason Christians dont study dreams is that the Bible dismisses many common dreams and warns against false and misleading dreams. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business. This verse means that dreams may simply reflect the busy day that you had. For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. This verse warns against getting caught up in common dreams. There are many dreams you dont have to pay attention to, and spending a lot of time trying to understand them might not get you anywhere.
When a person wants to believe something they may very well have a dream that tells them what they want. Then they begin to believe in their dream, considering it a spiritual revelation. This seems to be the basis for false dreams and false prophesy. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye caused to be dreamed. For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. If you study dreams from a Christian perspective I believe God will give you understanding of the interpretation, and also wisdom to tell which category a dream falls under. With this in mind, I dont know why more Christians dont study dreams.