Many are times you wake up from a dream,confused,sweating,scared or even screaming at the top of your voice.Simply because you DREAMT.And this begs a question what is a dream?,why do people dream?,when do people dream?.The topic of dreams is as old as mankind,its a topic of great interest to many groups of ‘experts’,mention counselors,psychologists,spiritual leaders,philosophers and not forgetting scientists who have put a spirited effort to unravel this enigma of dreams.Being a trained and a practicing scientist i am inclined to ride with the fellow scientists on this topic but i will take a digression and front another approach to the topic;that is questioning the dream,Anytime you have such an experience you need to ask yourself a few questions which in one way or another will help decipher the true meaning of the dream(i am a strong believer that each dream has a specific message to pass):
The location of the dream(this is both the physical location of the dreamer and the location the event in the dream appears to be happening) is of great importance to the message,the message may be connected to that area or someone in that area or an event that would happen in that area eg Genesis 41:1-4 “When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
Nile here identifies the land of Egypt as where this event(famine&the counter measures) would happen
Matthew 2:13 ” 13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”
Egypt here represents a temporal abode
Jesus would abide here temporarily,House of Jacob(Israelites) also had abode here temporarily all for the fulfillment of God’s word; Genesis 15:13( “Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. );
“..Out of Egypt i called my son…..)(Hosea 11:1-4…)
2.What did i see?
What we see in a dream may be literally connected to the message or not,we need to dig deeper so as to decipher the message. eg Genesis 41 “
When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.”
Here the seven cows and the seven heads of grain are literally used,to signify agriculture(livestock&crops) but now there is ‘funny’ twist whereby the thin cows eat the fat cows and the thin heads eat the healthy heads,and this is the deeper message,seven years of bumper harvest followed by seven years of famine,just like in this case sometimes it may take a divinely empowered servant of God(Daniel) to unravel the message.
Also see ;
Daniel 7:2-3 ” Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea “
Here the symbols used have a deeper meaning(we read Daniel seeking help from the one sent from God)(Daniel 7:16)
Great sea: Represents people
Also compare with Daniel 2;
King Nebuchadnezzar sees a great statue which is smashed by a rock,it greatly troubles him,it took pleading of Daniel,Hananiah,Mishael and Azariah with heaven to reveal the meaning of this great mystery.
3.Who did i see?
The person we see in a dream may be directly or indirectly related to the message,He or she may be the subject or deliverer of the message either directly or indirectly. eg in 1 Samuel 28:12-14
“12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”The woman said, “I see a ghostly figure[a] coming up out of the earth.”14 “What does he look like?” he asked.“An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.”
From this verse when the woman saw Samuel coming up from the ground she immediately knew the identity of her client! It was Saul,the King! There was a great connecting history between Samuel ,the great seer and Saul the King,among other things it was Samuel who had annointed Saul to be the King and despite their acrimonous parting Saul knew that when everything failed to work( He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets ),Samuel despite being way dead and buried, could reveal to him what he needed to know.Also its worthy noting that when the medium woman described what she saw,Saul immediately knew she was seeing Samuel. Appearance of Samuel is greatly connected to the message revealed because before his death he had warned Saul of his destruction and painful end of his reign.(1 Samuel 15)
4.What did they say?
Sometimes express instructions are given,we should pay utmost attention to these words,if we understand we promptly heed,if not we should promptly get someone who can interpret them,then promptly heed.Express instructions is the clearest form of delivering the message either to the dreamer or the subject(other person/intended recipient) of the message.It shows the urgency and need for immediate if not sooner than immediate action on part of the recipient. eg Matthew 2:13-14,19-21″
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”[c]
19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[c] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[d] 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel,[e] though the city used to be called Luz.20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord[f] will be my God 22 and[g] this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
5.What was my feeling?
The feeling after the dream has great significance in relation to the message delivered.It may indicate the ultimate destination or outcome of the event revealed.Also the feeling may be a prod for action in the direction of the message delivered. eg Daniel 2: Nebuchadnezzar,the ‘king of kings’, is greatly troubled by dreams which prod him to call astrologers and firmly instruct them to tell him what he dreamt of and what it meant,failure to which all of them including Daniel and his friends would be executed.The great trouble the King experienced from the dream made him ready to execute all his wise men should they fail to unravel the mystery, it took the mercy of God to save them.
Also see,Daniel 7;
Daniel is greatly troubled by what he saw in the visions,it prods him to ask for help in interpreting them from one of the people standing there,its amazing that within the same vision Daniel takes an action that helps him unravel the meaning.
6.Did i understand it?
Now this is one of the last questions to ask yourself,did you get the message? The very essence of sending the dream is to covey some message.This is the determinant of what to follow,it determines the next steps to take,either to proceed or retreat,either to tell someone about it or keep it to yourself.eg 1 Samuel 3
” The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”Samuel answered, “Here I am.”17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
From this verse we can see clearly that Samuel didn’t understand who was calling,actually he thought it was Eli who was calling him.But on going to Eli these three times,Eli understood it was God who was calling Samuel.After God gave Samuel the intended message,despite his tender age he clearly understood it and was afraid to share it with Eli,but upon Eli insisting he told him everything.This leads us to realise that any time God gives a message He does is so clearly for us to understand and easily recall just like the young Samuel did here.
Also see Acts 10;
“9 The next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray at about the sixth hour.[b] 10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and an object coming down. It was like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.[c] 12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles[d] of the earth and birds of the sky.13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter, kill and eat!”14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”15 Yet the voice came to him a second time: “What God has made clean, you must not continue to call unclean.”16 This happened three times, and then the object was immediately taken up to heaven.[e]17 While Peter was inwardly perplexed about what the vision he had seen might mean, just then the men who were sent by Cornelius arrived. They had asked for directions to Simon’s house and were standing at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon, who was also called Peter, was staying there as a guest.19 While Peter was still deep in thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “See, three men are looking for you! 20 Now get up, go downstairs, and don’t hesitate to go with them, because I have sent them.”21 Peter went down to the men and said, “I am the one you are looking for. Why have you come?”22 They replied, “Cornelius the centurion is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is highly respected by the whole Jewish nation. He was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to listen to what you have to say.” 23 So Peter invited them in and received them as guests.”” 28 He said to them, “You understand how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to associate with or visit anyone who is not a Jew. But God showed me that I should no longer continue to call anyone impure or unclean. 29 That is why I came without objection when you sent for me. May I ask why you sent for me?” “
From this verse it is very clear that Peter being a Jew didn’t understand what was meant by the list of the unclean foods he was being shown,despite the express instructions not to call anything God sanctifies unclean he was still perplexed,but by divine providence when the three men sent by Cornelius arrived looking for him ,the Spirit of God told him to go with them,and eventually we read that when he went to Cornelius’s house it dawned on him what the vision meant,He was to minister to the gentiles and God graced it by sending of the Holy Spirit to the household of Cornelius.
7.Finally,did i pray about it?
In connection to question no.6 above we ultimately need to ask ourselves if we sought help from the Fountain of the wisdom;
(Ecclesiasticus 1)” All wisdom cometh from the Lord, and is with him for ever. 2Who can number the sand of the sea, and the drops of rain, and the days of eternity? 3Who can find out the height of heaven, and the breadth of the earth, and the deep, and wisdom? 4 Wisdom hath been created before all things, and the understanding of prudence from everlasting. 5The word of God most high is the fountain of wisdom; and her ways are everlasting commandments. 6To whom hath the root of wisdom been revealed? or who hath known her wise counsels? 7[Unto whom hath the knowledge of wisdom been made manifest? and who hath understood her great experience?] 8 There is one wise and greatly to be feared, the Lord sitting upon his throne. 9 He created her, and saw her, and numbered her, and poured her out upon all his works. 10She is with all flesh according to his gift, and he hath given her to them that love him. “,
the Alpha and Omega;
Revelation 21:6 ” 6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. “
the All knowing ;
Isaiah 40:13-14,” 13 Who can fathom the Spirit[a] of the Lord,
or instruct the Lord as his counselor?
14 Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him,
and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge,
or showed him the path of understanding? “
And definitely we can’t forget what these two men of God taught us:
“14 For God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one perceives it. 15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, 16 he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, 17 to turn them from wrongdoing and keep them from pride, 18 to preserve them from the pit, their lives from perishing by the sword. “
“It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him“
So dear Believer this is just a guideline, we can’t claim having unraveled the mystery of dreams , but the next time it happens now you have an idea,but just as Daniel has told us just above here ,ITS GOD WHO REVEALS THE PROFOUND AND HIDDEN THINGS.
NB:Record your dream soonest for future reference