2 Chapters, 5 Dreams, 1 Amazing God

In reading the book of Matthew in the Bible, I couldn’t help but notice that God spoke a lot through dreams.  In chapters 1 and 2, I counted five dreams (paraphrased below):

    1. Matthew 1:20 – An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and explained Jesus’ conception and urged Joseph to take Mary as his wife, instead of divorcing her, as he had been contemplating. 
    2. Matthew 2:12 – The magi was warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, because Herod wanted to kill Jesus.
    3. Matthew 2:13 – An angel of the Lord visited Joseph in a dream, instructing him to take his family to Egypt in order to save Jesus from being killed by Herod.
    4. Matthew 2:19 – After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and told Joseph to take his family back to Israel.
    5. Matthew 2:22 – Joseph was warned in a dream about danger in Judea from Herod’s son, who ruled after his father’s death.

 What did these five dreams have in common?  The person who had the dream obeyed the instructions revealed to them.  To me, that’s fascinating.  First of all, I don’t remember most of my dreams, secondly, judging by the dreams I do remember, I suspect there’s a reason so many slip away.

I generally have crazy dreams.  When I was pregnant with my older son, I dreamed that I had the baby – and it was kitten.  (What??)  Or the recent dream where I noticed a burglar in the house and asked my sleeping hubby about it and then locked myself in the bathroom and left him out there to fend for himself.  (Nice, right?)

The fact that Joseph and the magi remembered the dreams and obeyed them has to be a sign of God in their hearts.  How else would they not wake up and say, “Geez, that was one wild dream.  I must’ve eaten some bad shellfish?”

I also wonder if Joseph, who had four of the dreams, ever doubted the first command or grew tired of the instructions that came in subsequent dreams.  He was never asked to do anything easy; whenever the angels spoke, his life would be turned upside down by doing as they asked.

Getting a message from God in a dream would be cool, but I have to admit that if I had a dream where someone told me to move my family to another country, I probably wouldn’t wake up, pack my things and go.  I would most likely wake up and wonder if I really had that dream.   I’d question my sanity.  Then, after more thought, I’d convince myself that it was just my imagination having some fun.

What would you do?

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17 thoughts on “2 Chapters, 5 Dreams, 1 Amazing God

  1. J. P. Cabit May 22, 2011 / 5:20 AM

    Egh, that’s a hard one. Like you, I have very poor dream memory. I do remember last night I had a dream that I was on a cliff overlooking a jungle and the sea, and it was pretty epic, and somebody was stepping close to the edge of the cliff so I grabbed his shirt so he wouldn’t fall to his death to the baobab trees and vines hundreds of feet below.

    Other than that…

    I don’t recall ever having a dream where God explicitly told me to do something. If I did, I suppose I’d talk to some people I respected to see if it was a good idea! In my opinion, when we are told to do something crazy like that, we should seek some counsel.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2011 / 2:13 PM

      That’s an interesting dream, Seph. I’m glad you saved the guy – witnessing someone die, even a dream, would be disturbing!

      I’ve never had God communicate to me in a dream either. I don’t know if I’d mention it to anyone because they would probably think I’d lost my mind 😉 You do have to be careful though, because not all messages come from God.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your dream!

  2. carldagostino May 22, 2011 / 5:40 AM

    The only message you need is live so you are never the source of someone’s misfortune and never pass up an opportunity to perform a charitable act.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2011 / 2:16 PM

      Those are good messages to live by, Carl. I agree with both of them! I’m not expecting God to visit me in a dream, so I do aim to live each day as a “good” person. Sometimes I do well, other times, not so much…but each day is a new opportunity.

      I’m glad you stopped by 🙂

  3. Carol Ann Hoel May 22, 2011 / 2:52 PM

    I have weird dreams like you do, Janna. If there’s a message in them, I don’t get it.

    When God gives a message in a dream, perhaps He makes it clear enough for the person to understand and obey. After all, God is God. He isn’t hindered by our humanity. We don’t read about Joseph waking up and trying to decide if the dream came from God or not. Joseph knew where it came from and obeyed.

    • jannatwrites May 22, 2011 / 9:01 PM

      I guess weird dreams are normal 🙂

      People can be stubborn in following God’s will, so I do admire (and learn from) those who follow willingly – even when the directions come from a dream. Thank you for adding your thoughts on this, Carol. I’m glad I’m not alone in the strange dream situation!

  4. SAS Fiction Girl May 22, 2011 / 9:40 PM

    ‘ The fact that Joseph and the magi remembered the dreams and obeyed them has to be a sign of God in their hearts. How else would they not wake up and say, “Geez, that was one wild dream. I must’ve eaten some bad shellfish?” ‘

    I can answer that one:

    Jewish people are forbidden to eat shellfish (Lev. 11:9; Deut. 14:9). That’s how they knew it was not bad lobster causing the wild dreams. 😀

    • JannatWrites May 22, 2011 / 9:51 PM

      Hehehe….thanks for the reference, Jen. Obviously, I’m not Jewish 🙂

      How ’bout if I substitute “smoked salmon” for “shellfish” in that sentence? (I’ve read that salmon is acceptable.)

  5. Lavender Blue May 23, 2011 / 3:43 AM

    Dreaming is a fun past time for me. I do it well, but often wonder what I ate before bed to cause me to “dream” up such fancies. I have to believe God would know how to get through to me, leaving no consideration for this being just another oddity in the realm of sleepy time. But of course, getting anyone to listen to me based on some dream I had….good luck to me and them. If I had a dream in which God was all like….you have to get out of town, cut your hair and learn how to ride horses….and take your family with you……I’d start with the riding horses and then back peddle to the God told me to…..I’m already a weirdo in my family with all the yoga and everything! They don’t listen to me much to begin with.

    • jannatwrites May 23, 2011 / 9:32 PM

      Your comment made me laugh, Lavender Blue! I suppose there’s nothing to lose if your family already doesn’t listen to you 😉 I agree that God would have to find a way to get through so that there was no way we could dismiss the message. I also fully agree that getting anyone to listen to the dream would be a tough feat (and, in turn, convincing them that insanity isn’t a problem.)

      I’m glad you do dreams well – I wish I did. I forget most of them, but the ones I do remember leave me scratching my head, wondering what is wrong with my mind!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment – it made me smile this evening….not an easy thing to do today…

  6. pattisj May 24, 2011 / 7:01 PM

    I’d be like Samuel going to Eli, and ask my husband, “Did you say something?” I sleep very soundly, and rarely remember dreams. If it is memorable, it’s usually one I don’t want to remember! Do you ever go back to sleep and keep dreaming the same thing, over and over? That’s when it is time to get up, no matter what time it is. 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 24, 2011 / 8:38 PM

      I can relate, Patti. I sleep very soundly, too. I have had a few instances when I’ve waken up and the dream continued when I fell back asleep again. But of course I couldn’t do this when a good dream was interrupted! Here’s to no dreams tonight, okay?

  7. dorcas May 27, 2011 / 5:07 PM

    I’m not so much as a dreamer and my dreams have never made sense. Like this one time when I met the president of India standing on the side of the road cause his car broke down 🙂

    But there have been times when I have given God clear instructions about what to give me as a dream at times when I can’t decide something…

    Of course, God din’t listen 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 27, 2011 / 8:20 PM

      You’ve given God clear instructions about what you should dream? I bet He got a chuckle out of that! Meeting someone like a president in a dream would be interesting. I wonder what it could have meant?

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