Journal Matt 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And (the Wise Men) being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way…(v12)
Now when they (the Wise Men) had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said… (v13)
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt…(v19)
But when he (Joseph) heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he (Joseph) was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. (v22)
Observation: Is the Bible accurate for teaching, reproof, correction and for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16)? If so, when was the last time a teaching and/or training about dreams showed up?
Analysis: Answer: In my estimation, next to hardly never. I wonder why that is? Probably because the supernatural side of Christian practice is ceded to the Charismatic weirdo’s and is not talked about in what might be considered “mainstream” Christianity. In fact, there are a lot of folks that would say it isn’t valid and should be avoided.
Every time I read the Scriptures and come across stuff like this, it brings me to wonder? What if I should pay attention to dreams?
Another answer: I should CONSIDER paying attention to them but training myself on how to validate them and their accuracy. It is like earnestly desiring to prophesy (not a suggestion, but an instruction: “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts—especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Cor 14:2)) Dreams are not necessarily prophecy, but do they fall in the same category? Yeah, I think so, too.
Something else: Acts 2:17 – “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…” and; Jude 8 – “Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.” So, the Scripture indicates that “dreams” can go both ways: True and False. The Scripture also indicates that False guys can preach the Gospel and twist it to something it is not. Therefore, the onus is on us to assure that it is done in godliness and righteousness according to the Word of God…and just not abandoned as “too risky a practice.”
Where would we be if Joseph neglected his dreams? My thought is that he did not shoulder this alone and that he conferred with Mary before deciding upon a decision. Note that I did not write “making a decision together”; the decision (according to the Scriptures) rested upon Joseph alone, with an assumption that Mary said her piece and then trusted God to submit to Joseph.
These are the kind of observations and questions a journaling believer should come to eventually. To study and unravel and unpack this stuff is a Believer’s privilege, duty, and yes, pleasure.
It is easy to affirm the broad stuff that isn’t controversial and mysterious. Consider the Trinity: what besides everything about the Trinity isn’t controversial and mysterious? And yet, the Doctrine (concept) of the Trinity has to be true because rationally and functionally the Gospel doesn’t work.
So, the next time a section of Scripture is run into that doesn’t make immediate sense, ask: “What do you mean by this God?”
He will answer…
Prayer: Father, a little rambling never hurt anybody; just bouncing thoughts on a piece of electronic paper which is not a bad practice for my personal journal.
Straighten out my thoughts, O God. Take as much time as You need, Holy Spirit.