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The Clarity of Words, the Obscurity of Dreams

Posted by: David Carroll

Dreams and visions can be interpreted in many different ways and Willard concludes that for this reason that these forms of communication are inferior to the “voice” of the Lord. There has some scriptural evidence for this in the following passage:

Numbers 12:6-8 (NKJV)

Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.

Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”

Now the context for this occasion was the jealousy of Moses’ sister and brother, Miriam and Aaron who wanted to hear from God the same way Moses did. Notice what God says about superiority of plain sayings versus dark sayings. If the message is muddled and unclear, it is not from God. If you hear God’s “still small voice,” it will be clear and articulate, you will have no doubt about the meaning. This will be the mark of a mature, conversational relationship with God.

Then what is the purpose of dreams and visions which may not be clear and precise in their meanings? Of course, not all dreams or visions are from the Lord. I suppose some might result from that late-night, fast-food meal you scarfed down right before going to bed. But God says he speaks in dreams and visions and we conclude that where the message is obscure that God is still communicating something. Think about what can occur from having such dreams and visions. I could be struck with fear or motivated to seek and investigate or even to slow down and listen more closely. Certainly these results can be the purpose of God’s working in the life of an immature believer or even an unbeliever. I can think of several unbelieving kings in the Bible whom God gave dreams and motivated them to cease from doing harm to God’s people.

Willard concludes that the “more spectacular is the less mature.” With maturity in the Lord comes that “still small voice.” Why should that be? It is only with maturity that the child of God can be entrusted with the more complete knowledge of the holy.

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