Dreams and visions that carry God’s message fall into three categories (1) personal warnings and direction from God (such as the angelic dream assuring Joseph that Mary was pregnant by supernatural means-Matthew 1:20); (2) prophetic dreams and visions for immediate action (Pharaoh’s dream about years of plenty and famine-Genesis 41); (3) prophetic dreams and visions regarding the course of history (the visions in Daniel 7; John’s visions in Revelation).
The more God’s written Word became a reality, the less God used dreams and visions as a communication tool. When God did use dreams, the situation was often critical, and failure to heed the dream or vision had dire consequences. People today who claim that God still uses dreams are seldom willing to put their lives on the line as a guarantee of the truth of the dream or vision, a clear requirement of scripture (Deuteronomy 13:5). Others who claim that God “retired” dreams when scripture was complete appear to claim that God is unable to communicate this way any longer. Either option is fraught with difficulty.
Since God would never contradict His Word, any dreams messages God might use today must cohere with the Bible’s clear teaching and should always be confirmed through the council of mature Christians to prevent private aspiration from becoming confused with God’s will. Guidance today does not depend on dreams; neither should dreams be ruled out as a way to better comprehend God’s glory. In Nebuchadnezzar’s case, we can only suppose that a king so remote from God’s people would not likely listen to prophetic preaching. In mercy, God had a message for this lost monarch, and He chose a dream as the best vehicle for getting that message across.
DANIEL 2:1- And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep break from him.