Joseph had an extraordinary ability to shine in the darkest of places, to thrive under circumstances that could have crushed his spirit. He demonstrated this ability early.
Joseph’s 10 older brothers hated him because their father, Jacob, loved him-much more than he loved the rest of his children. He lavished attention and gifts on Joseph while the rest of his sons burned with envy.
The most fascinating of Daniel’s several prophecies involves Nebuchadnezzar’s “forgotten” dream. In the dream, a statue cast in five layers of material represents the Babylonian empire and the four world empires to follow. The rock that crushes them all represents the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which overcomes all secular authority and vindicates the rule of God.
Dreams were neither foolproof nor infallible. Both Jeremiah and Zechariah spoke against relying on dreams to express the revelation of God. Dreams could come without being God’s word (Jer 23:28). Jeremiah lumped dreamers together with soothsayers, sorcerers, and false prophets (Jer 27:9). He cautioned exiles in Babylon not to listen to dreamers and false prophets who told them that the exile would not be long (Jer 29:8). Zechariah pointed people toward the Lord, apparently because they were relying on dreamers and others to give them the truth (Zech 10:1-2). Thus while God often used dream to reveal His will, there is a warning, too, not to rely on this method to know the will of God.
WHAT DREAMS WERE INTERPRETED? Not every dream was thought to be from God. Not every dream was significant. Some could be wishful thinking (Psa 126:1; Isa 29:7-8). In times of need and especially when a person sought a word from God, dreams could be significant.
In the ancient Near East dreams were one of several ways people sought to see the future and to make decisions that would be beneficial to them. In some societies, people went to temples or holy places to sleep in order to have a dream that would show them the best decision to make.
Pharaoh dreamed that seven skinny cows gobbled up seven fat cows along the Nile River. Many people in Bible times believed that dreams carried hidden messages, so he called on the magicians of the land to tell him the meaning of his dream. Continue reading EGYPTIAN MAGICIANS→
HUNGER- Strong need or desire for food. Scripture contains haunting pictures of hunger. Isaiah 29:8 uses the image of a hungry person dreaming of eating only to awake hungry again. In Lam 4:9 those who fell by the sword are reckoned better off than those pierced by hunger. Hunger frequently takes on a theological significance. Exodus 16:3 recounts Israel’s complaint that Moses led them from Egypt to kill them with hunger in the desert. Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “HUNGER”→
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). Continue reading WHY DID GOD USE DREAMS AND VISIONS TO COMMUNICATE WITH SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE BIBLE?→