19 December, 2007


Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. 'I had a dream,' he was saying. 'A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.' (Judges 7:13 NIV)

The Bible is full of incidents when men have dreams where God communicates something of importance to them. This belief in God communicating through dreams was held by Jew and Gentile alike. In fact, some of the most important dreams in Scripture were from Gentiles such as Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar. In this age of science and psychoanalysis, however, believing that dreams are anything more than the workings of our subconscious is met with the some degree of skepticism.

What should the modern believer think about dreams? Does God still use dreams to communicate with men? If so, how do we distinguish between dreams from God and other dreams?

In the account of Gideon from Judges 7, the understanding of dreams plays a critical role in the story. First, Gideon is given a message from God "in the night" which leads us to believe this was in a dream. God tells him:

Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp. (vs. 9-11 NIV)

Because of his belief in the message he has received is from God, Gideon sneaks down into the enemy encampment. While he is down there he overhears the conversation quoted above. A Midianite has dreamed that a round loaf of bread rolled into their army encampment struck a tent and knocked it over. The associate of the dreamer then offers his interpretation of the dream. He says:

This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands. (v. 14)

Let's see if we can establish a few facts from this story as it relates to dreams:
  • Gideon believed that dreams were a medium by which God communicated with men.
  • The Midianites believed that dreams were a medium by which God communicated with men.
  • Gideon believed in these dreams so strongly he was willing to sneak into his enemy's camp and also attack them with victory assured.
  • These Gentiles knew enough about dreams to interpret correctly the obscure symbol of a piece of bread rolling into a tent and knocking it down.
If all of these elements did not come together, the story would be significantly different. It was only because there was a belief in dreams that God was able to work through dreams to bring this event about. It is possible that our own understanding of dreams opens or closes opportunities for us?

Lord willing we will explore this more in the coming weeks along with your input.


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Anonymous Josh said...

I hav actually wondered about this one. I havnt really got anything to input.... but was curious as to weither God would communicate to people through history, regardless of their beliefs to bring about his plans. Like Joan of Arc... maybe she was just a nutase who hallucinated, or maybe she really did see a vision, becuase that was a chain of events God wanted to happen.

I have no idea :P Be interested to read your posts on this topic.

December 22, 2007 1:26 AM  

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