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):
- 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.
- Matthew 2:12 – The magi was warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, because Herod wanted to kill Jesus.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?