Jump Start # 2593
Genesis 28:12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
I had a dream the other day about my grandparents. I haven’t thought about them in a long time. They were both N.T. Christians. My grandfather passed through the door of death when I was a sophomore at Purdue University. There wasn’t anything special about the dream. They were in a new house in a subdivision, which never happened. As in many dreams, our memories are sprinkled with this and that which doesn’t match reality. I’m not one who usually remembers dreams.
Many folks try to figure out what their dreams mean. Some think that there are messages in the dreams. A deep subconscious issue comes to the surface in a dream, I’ve heard some say. I don’t put much credit in those things. I tend to think many dreams are because a guy ate too many tacos the night before. Some of our dreams can become nightmares and we wake up startled and frightened.
Our verse today is about Jacob who had a dream. His dream was different from my dream. Jacob realized God was communicating to him. God used dreams, visions and many ways to communicate. Pharaoh had dreams that Joseph interpreted. Those interpretations saved the nation and allowed Joseph’s family to be connected again. Nebuchadnezzar had dreams which Daniel interpreted for him.
Some thoughts we need to keep in mind when we go down this road of dreams.
First, God speaks today through Jesus. That’s what Hebrews tells us. Believing your dreams are a divine message, like Jacob received is likely to get you into all kinds of deep water and it probably will not turn out well for you. Peter tells us that all things necessary for life and godliness has been given to us. If God tells you something in a dream, why doesn’t He tell me? Have you noticed in the Scriptures when God directly influenced people, it was not about buying oxen, land or who to marry. It was about His will. It was about fulfillment of prophecy. So, when a guy tells me that he had a dream and he believes God wants him to ask a certain girl to marry him, he’s gotten things crossed up. Now, what is his girl to believe? Suppose she doesn’t want to marry him? Does she believe that she is going against God for saying, “no.” And, if they get married, what happens if the marriage turns south. He’s changed his mind and wants out. Is He going against what he believed was a divine dream? What if he has another dream about marrying another person?
Jacob knew that God was the author of his dream. Joseph, Daniel and others knew exactly what those dreams were intended to communicate. We are guessing. We don’t know what those dreams mean. And, these dreams are not inspired nor given directly by God. God speaks through Jesus today.
Second, some would put more credit into a dream than the word of God. The word of God is tested, proven and the same for all of us. It has stood the test of time. God is not going to tell you something that ignores what He already says in His word. When people say, “I just know God wants me to do this,” how do they know? Got a verse to back that up, or is it just a feeling that has no foundation, evidence, or Biblical support? We live in times when people would rather follow their feelings than Scriptures. They determine right and wrong from the standpoint of their feelings. And, without realizing this, they have made themselves the standard, the authority and the final word. They have scooted God off the throne and have plopped themselves upon His throne. And, from this high and lofty spot, they declare “I just don’t see anything wrong with that.” Of course not. When all one does is look in the mirror, it’s hard to see anything except yourself. Are they looking in Scriptures? Are they trying to see what God says about things?
Third, then what are we to make of dreams? Not much. Sometimes they take us down memory lane, which is nice. Sometimes they make no sense and we can waste a lot of time trying to figure out something that can’t be figured out. My practical ways just tells me to get about reality and get busy doing what you know the Lord wants you to do. That’s easy to find, it’s in the Scriptures. There is no missing the point. It’s a matter of doing it. Some make journals of their dreams. Why? Why not journal observations you make from the Scriptures? Why not write down goals? Why not make a list of things you can do to help others? Making a grocery list is a better use of time than writing down dreams.
Finally, be thankful that God has communicated to us in words. Words have definite meanings. Words can be studied, copied, translated and even memorized. Words are absolute. Feelings are like walking through a modern art gallery. I’ve been there. I stand and look at a large canvas with paint spewed all over it. Abstract, I’m told. The guide has us looking at it and we are supposed to understand some inner struggle the artist had with cultural conflicts. People stand and stare and stare at it. People comment, “I see the struggle between injustice and oppressive government.” I stand and think the artist tripped over a bucket of paint. Trying to figure out people’s feelings is not absolute. This is why the way to God is not feeling based. This is why God’s will is not feeling based. Feelings are involved and we ought to be passionate about God, but that’s the foundation of our faith and hope. The word of God is. The apostles were told to go everywhere and preach the Gospel. Those absolute, definable, describable words which everyone could understand. That’s what we stand upon.
My sweet grandfather was born near the end of the 1800’s. His grandfather was in the Civil War. It’s nice to be reminded of him and I hope to see him on the other side. Dreams are for sleeping. Daytime is for getting about what we know God wants us to do.