In the past, God revealed His will through dreams to His people. And at the end of time, He also promised, “I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17 also Joel 2:28).
God spoke to His people through dreams
Abraham (Gen. 15:12) – In a dream, the Lord informed Abraham that his descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs. And their enemies will afflict them four hundred years. But the Lord assured Abraham that He will judge the oppressive nation and that Abraham’s descendants will come out with great possessions.
Jacob (Genesis 28:10-17) – After Jacob deceitfully stole Esau’s firstborn inheritance, he ran away from his brother’s fury. Then, God spoke to him in a dream of a ladder reaching to heaven where angels were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord promised that He will extend Abraham’s blessing to him.
Joseph (Genesis 37:1-11) – The Lord revealed to Joseph in a dream that his family would one day bow to him in respect. But this dream made his brothers angry and they sold him into slavery. And he was taken to Egypt. But providence fulfilled Joseph’s dream and he became the second in command over Egypt.
Solomon (1 Kings 3:5) – The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream saying: “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” Solomon didn’t ask for riches, fame, or victory over his enemies. He only asked for wisdom. Therefore, the Lord was pleased with him and gave him wisdom and also all that he didn’t ask for.
Daniel (Dan. 7:1) – The Lord gave Daniel a pictorial dream of the future history of the world. The prophecy of Daniel 7 covers the same span of history as the dream of Daniel 2, both reaching from the prophet’s day to the time of the founding of the kingdom of God.
Joseph, Mary’s husband (Matthew 1:20; 2:13) – When Joseph found that Mary was pregnant, he thought of leaving her. But the Lord spoke to him in a dream revealing that the pregnancy was of the Holy Spirit. So, Joseph got married to Mary. And after she gave birth to Jesus, God sent him 2 more dreams, one instructing him to take his family and flee to Egypt away from King Herod who wanted to destroy the child. Afterwards, God sent another dream informing him that Herod was dead and that it was safe to go back to his country.
God spoke to non-Israelites through dreams
Abimelech (Gen. 20:3–7) – Because of Sarah’s beauty, Abraham (her husband) told Abimelech king of Gerar that Sarah was his sister (she was actually his half-sister) so that he will not kill him and take her as a wife. Abimelech took Sarah into his harem, but God sent him a dream commanding him not to touch Sarah because she was Abraham’s wife.
Laban the Syrian (Gen. 31:24) – Laban wanted to hurt Jacob but the Lord appeared to Laban in a dream by night, and said to him, “Be careful that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.”
Pharaoh’s servants (Genesis 40:5) – When Joseph was falsely accused and thrown into prison, he interpreted 2 dreams for Pharaoh’s cup-bearer and baker. The Lord showed Joseph that the cup-bearer would be restored to his former position in Pharaoh’s house, but the baker would be killed.
Pharaoh (Genesis 41:1-8) – Pharaoh had a mysterious dream that no one of his wise-men could interpret. But God revealed the meaning to Joseph and he in turn to the King. In gratitude, Pharaoh appointed Joseph to be second-in-command over Egypt. And thus, Joseph saved Egypt and his family from the predicted famine.
The Midianite and Amalekite armies (Judges 7:12-15) – God revealed to the enemies of Israel that they will be defeated by Gideon. When Gideon overheard an enemy soldier relating this dream, he was strengthened and encouraged by God’s message.
Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:1; 4:10–18) – The Lord in His providence gave Nebuchadnezzar two dreams that were intended to reveal to him the course of history and his responsibility in cooperating with Heaven.
In His service,