..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Daniel 2: Daniel & Dreams: Hearing God at Night

Daniel & Dreams: Hearing God at Night

The Book of Daniel has several important
dreams in it. It shows us that God speaks
to us by means of dreams. Although dream
interpretation has found its way into the
occult and into psychology,God has always
spoken to His People by means of dreams
in both the Old and New Testaments. Christians
would do well to pay attention to their dreams
and to inquire of the Lord as to their meaning.

In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar was shaken
by a disturbing dream. His spirit was so
troubled that he was unable to sleep,
The Hebrew words here suggest that it was
like he was struck with a jolt that left his
heart pounding. Have you ever had such a
dream? He knew the dream was important but
he could not even recall all of it (2:5&8,KJV).
Even this pagan king knew that something
significant was being told to him by means of
a dream.

On the king's staff was a large group of
dream interpreters, and those who gave the
king spiritual advice. They were "magicians,
astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans." There
was also Daniel, who spoke for the God of Israel!

The magicians,etc were summoned to interpret
the king's dream, but the king did not only
want the interpretation, he wanted them to
tell him what he had dreamed. The interpreters
told him that this was impossible, that the
"gods did not dwell with man", and that
this kind of information could not be gotten (2:11).

Unfortunately, this meant that the king was
going to kill all the interpreters by cutting
them to pieces! The panicked interpreters could
not help him. They were simply telling the king
of the limits of what they felt they could do
as dream interpreters. They did not have a direct
relationship with the Living God, with Daniel's
God, they did not expect to communicate
directly with God. The "gods" they knew
communicated indirectly, in the dark, through
obscure means, by means of divination, and
portents and signs, but never directly,
never "face to face."

Daniel, however, knew the Living God. When the
king's guard came to Daniel to round him up
to be killed, Daniel stepped forward to save
his life and all the lives of the interpreters.
Daniel knew that his God could reveal the
knowledge of the dream, that nothing was hidden
from Him. and that if he asked of God, God
would tell him.

Notice the heart of Daniel, also. He did not
just seek to save his own life, but looked
out for the other dream interpreters and
divines, even though they were pagan and did
not know the Lord. They could fairly be
called "occult practitioners" and yet Daniel
did not seek their demise.

Daniel simply got down to prayer. He asked
his three friends to pray with him for God to
impart wisdom. The Lord gave Daniel both
what the king had dreamed and what it meant
in a "night vision." So the answer came to him
also at night in this prophetic variation of
a dream. Daniel "sees" what Nebuchadnezzar
had dreamed and also "sees" what it means.
When he tells the king, and the king recognizes
it to be true, their lives are spared.

The bible is surprisingly full of dreams, and
below is a very partial list of significant
passages regarding dreams.

Jacob's dream: Genesis 28: 10-22(the ladder
to heaven), and Genesis 31:10-29 (the cattle dream);
Joseph's dreams : (Genesis 37) the sheaves
of wheat and the sun, moon, and stars;
The dreams of the butler and baker in Egypt
(Genesis 40);
Pharoah's dream (Genesis 41);
Gideon and the dream he overhears (Judges 7:9-18);
Solomon's dream (1 Kings 3:5-15);

Joseph's dream regarding Jesus(Matthew 1: 19,20);
Joseph warned to go to Egypt(Matthew 2: 12, 13);
Pilate's wife (Matthew 27:19);
The Spirit's outpouring and dreams:Joel 2:28/Acts 2:17.

God promises to give us interpretations to
dreams when we seek Him. (Gen 40:8: Do
not interpretations belong to God?) and
(Gen 41:16: God shall give Pharaoh an
answer of peace). Psalm 16:7 tells us that
God instructs us in the night seasons.
Job 33:14-18 shows that God reveals things
to us at night.

Daniel knew that he could go to God and
receive the wisdom, guidance, and understanding
that he needed. He knew that God speaks to us
and that we simply need to inquire of Him.
How God chooses to speak to us is up to Him:
that He speaks to us by means of dreams is
clearly revealed in the Scriptures.

What is God saying to you at night?

(this bible study is a continuation
of a Bible Study on the book of Daniel,
further installments are archived in
this blog under "Daniel Bible Study"
and "Bible"

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