In the scriptures, the Lord sometime spoke to people in their dreams. One good example is Joseph, son of Jacob. We read in Genesis 37:5-8, “And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.” Joseph dreamed that he would one day rule over his brothers, and this caused their hate of him to grow deeper. We then read in verse 20, “Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.” They thought that by killing Joseph, they could kill his dreams. Later, as a prisoner in an Egyptian prison, Pharaoh’s butler and baker were in prison with Joseph. They had dreams, but did not know what they meant. Joseph was able to interpret their dreams. You can read about this in Genesis, chapter 40.

* SOME DREAMS WERE DECEPTIVE as we read in Jeremiah 23:25-26, “I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.”

* SOME DREAMS WERE BORN OUT OF LONGING as in Isaiah 29:8, “It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and, behold, he eateth; but he awaketh, and his soul is empty: or as when a thirsty man dreameth, and, behold, he drinketh; but he awaketh, and, behold, he is faint, and his soul hath appetite: so shall the multitude of all the nations be, that fight against mount Zion.”

* SOME DREAMS CAME NATURALLY because of the activities of the day as we read in Ecclesiastes 5:3, “For a dream cometh through the multitude of business.”

So while the Lord did communicate at times through dreams, not all dreams were from the Lord.

Do dreams carry any significance today? I certainly cannot rule out the Lord using a dream to guide or warn us, but the principal way in which God communicates with people today is through Christ in His Word. Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (NASB)

It is clear from the New Testament example that Christians today are to seek God’s complete Word for knowledge and direction, and not through private dreams that are so open to private interpretations. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” It is the Word of God that is inspired, infallible, and inerrant. Our dreams are not dependable in leading us. The activities we participate in, the foods that we eat, the things we occupy our minds with can all influence the contents of our dreams.

If you need guidance, if you are concerned about the plans the Lord has for you, if you are perplexed about the activity of the world around you…look to the Word of God. That is where the Lord will speak to us. That is where we can be sure to find the Lord’s mind about our situations. That is where we find absolute authority concerning truth and following God’s truth as found in His Word. (279.10)