Interpreting Dreams

Topic: Interpreting Dreams

Text: Genesis 40:1-22

Key Verse: They answered, “Each of us had a dream, and there is no one here to explain what the dreams mean.” “It is God who gives the ability to interpret dreams,” Joseph said. “Tell me about your dreams.” Gen 40:8(GNT)

The ability to have dreams is another function of the mind, but this gift requires God’s help to access its maximum benefits. Dreams are one of the ways God communicates with man, but not every dream is from God. The ability of the mind to analyze information makes it easy for a man to ponder and reason about issues, so God uses dreams to communicate his will on those issues. During one of the missionary journeys of Apostle Paul, they had difficulties knowing where to go with the message first until God gave direction through dreams.

That night Paul had a vision in which he saw a Macedonian standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 As soon as Paul had this vision, we got ready to leave for Macedonia, because we decided that God had called us to preach the Good News to the people there. Acts 16:9,10

When God gives dreams many times there are symbolic, and seeking its meaning outside God produces all kinds of negative results like fear. Remember, God seeks to warn and preserve life through dreams. (Job 33: 13-18 )

Joseph had dreams about sheaves, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams about Statues, while Pharoah had dreams about cattle.

Joseph’s dreams came to prepare him for God’s purpose for his life and reveal his future role to preserve his family, but when he shared those dreams, neither his father nor his brethren tried to seek the meaning of the dream from God, rather his brothers envied and hated him while his Father rebuked him. Today, we see the wisdom of God as everything eventually came to pass in Egypt many years later.

Then his brothers themselves came and bowed down before him. “Here we are before you as your slaves,” they said.  But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid; I can’t put myself in the place of God. You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good, to preserve the lives of many people who are alive today because of what happened*. Genesis 50:18-20

Joseph understood that God alone is the one who can give an accurate interpretation of dreams, in our key verse, he declared it. “It is God who gives the ability to interpret dreams”. We can note a few principles about dream interpretation from our text. When dreams are symbolic, the symbols will come from the dreamer’s life. The two men had dreams about their profession. Secondly, the dream speaks about the concerns they had. The two men had been in prison for a long time and must have been concerned about their future in Pharoah’s employment.

Sometime later the king of Egypt’s wine steward and his chief baker offended the king.  He was angry with these two officials and put them in prison in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same place where Joseph was being kept.  They spent a long time in prison, and the captain assigned Joseph as their servant.  

Through the help of the Holy Spirit, we can have an understanding of all the other symbols in the dream, like the numbers, the people, and the role of the dreamer.

The numbers represented the days before they were reinstated, Pharaoh in the dream represented their boss, they were all involved in the dream, they were not observers so the dream was about them not someone else. The birds eating from his head was symbolic of birds eating carcass from a dead body, which meant death.

Every dream when correctly interpreted will bear witness in the heart of the dreamer, but always seek to get a confirmation from God on the interpretation of the dream through other sources, so you can have the right response to the dream.

Learning to give accurate interpretation to dreams depends on your ability to recall all the details, make a conscious effort to document dreams as soon as you have them while praying and waiting on God for the interpretation.

I have had dreams that came to pass just as l saw them, they were not symbolic, and l have had dreams that came to me with a lot of symbols. Some things represented a revelation of things that had happened in my past, while others represented things that were going to occur in my future. Some of my dreams were about my family members, brethren, and even my church. My prayer life has been influenced by my dreams, as l have learned to heed the warnings l received. l have been prepared for future events by my dreams and l have also discerned God’s leading and will for my life through the dreams God has given me.  

God desires to speak to you through your dreams, it is not the only way God speaks, but you mustn\’t ignore your dreams, it may hold answers to the things you are seeking clarity about.



Ask God in prayers to give you the ability to recall and interpret your dreams from today in Jesus’ name, Amen.


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