April 26, 2020
I thought I would do something different this time by posting a dream verbatim from the bible. This particular dream is found in the Book of Esther, which tells the story of a young Jewish woman who becomes the wife of the most powerful king of that time, the Persian king Ahasuerus, also known as king Xerxes.
Having lost her parents, Hadassah (whose name later became Esther) was brought up by her uncle Mordecai in the city of Susa, which was the winter residence of the Persian kings. Mordecai held a high office at the royal court and by the end of the story, he becomes second only to the King. As for Esther, she is instrumental in saving her people from Haman's plot of having all the Jews across the empire slain and slaughtered. But what I love the most about this biblical account is that it begins with a dream and ends with the interpretation of the dream. This is how Mordecai recounts his dream:
"There were cries and noise, thunder and earthquakes, and disorder over the whole earth. Then two great dragons came forward, each ready for the fray, and set up a great roar. At the sound of them every nation made ready to wage war against the nation of the just. A day of darkness and gloom, of affliction and distress, oppression and great disturbance on earth! The entire upright nation was thrown into consternation at the fear of the evils awaiting it and prepared for death, crying out to God. Then from its cry, as from a little spring, there grew a great river, a flood of water. Light came as the sun rose, and the humble were raised up and devoured the mighty. (Esther 1a - 1k)
The next line states that, "On awakening from this dream and vision of God's designs, Mordecai thought deeply about the matter, trying his best all day to discover what its meaning might be."
Mordecai does something here which is very important when deciphering a dream; he ponders it throughout the day, probably turning to God for help in elucidating its meaning, just like Mary who pondered deeply the things of God. Mordecai probably sensed, when awakening, that this dream was truly a message from heaven and this can happen to us too. We do sometimes have dreams that can seem so real and so vivid; dreams that we won't ever forget. Those types of dreams are often more prophetic in nature so that the meaning only unfolds over time. We often call them "lucid dreams".
Then, the Book of Esther pretty much ends with the interpretation of the dream:
And Mordecai said, 'All this is God's doing. I remember the dream I had about these matters, nothing of which has failed to come true: the little spring that became a river, the light that shone, the sun, the flood of water. Esther is the river - she whom the king married and made queen. The two dragons are Haman and myself. The nations are those that banded together to blot out the name of Jew. The single nation, mine, is Israel, those who cried out to God and were saved. Yes, the Lord has saved his people, the Lord has delivered us from all these evils, God has worked such signs and great wonders as have never occurred among the nation.' (Esther 10: 3a - 3f)
At this point in time, Mordecai comes to understand the dream he had, but as you can see, it came after quite a period of time. Many events had to unfold historically before the understanding came to him. This is important, because when we wake up from a dream and write it down, we don't necessarily get the interpretation right away, so we can tend to feel frustrated or feel like our ability to interpret is very poor. But in a case such as this one, the complete understanding of the dream comes after all the events have transpired. It is only in looking behind that we get 20/20 vision, which is another way God can choose to speak to us.
Even if we don't understand from the outset, we might begin to see much more as events unfold, and once we've come to the end and are granted clear vision, we do feel so very grateful to the Lord. Because we've come through the events and are now standing on the other side, we see more clearly how the Lord was there leading us and speaking to us all along. And this increases our confidence in Him. It helps us to trust Him even more when another dream comes and we once again struggle to interpret it. We grow in our ability to rest in Him and to let Him guide and lead us to that place He has in mind for us.
To finish up, I'd like to add a few notes to help understand more fully the dream symbols.
Cries, noise, thunder and earthquakes = This is a very typical 'formula' in the scriptures. It means that it's a time of trials, tribulations and hardships that are allowed by the Lord upon his people.
River = Water often refers to the Holy Spirit. Since there is usually a 'flow' in a river, it can often point to a move of God. So in this story, Hadassah the Jewess is the little spring of water who becomes Queen Esther, the mighty river that helps to wash away and defeat the plans of Haman, the great enemy of her people.
The sun and light that shone = These usually represent the 'presence of the Lord', his favour or his anointing.
The dragons = Can represent powerful and influential people. In the dream, there are 2 dragons; one good, one evil, both influential. Mordecai the good Jewish dragon wins and becomes the second most influential person in the Persian court.
The upright nation = The Jews
The mighty = All the other nations that banded together to destroy the Jewish nation.
For those of you who might be interested, there is a beautiful movie that was made back in 2006 called "One Night with the King", which tells the story of Mordecai and Esther in a very moving and accurate way, but with unfortunately no mention of the dream. It's available on BluRay at a very good price!