In Genesis 31 we see the story of Jacob who had a dream about going back to his native homeland.
THE BACK STORY
Jacob had journeyed to Haram to find a wife. He wanted to marry Rachel, but to do so he had to work for her father, Laban, taking care of his goats. During the time Jacob worked for him, Laban didn’t deal with him honestly and with integrity (see Gen 31:38-42). Laban tricked Jacob into marrying his eldest daughter before he could marry Rachel, and he changed Jacob’s wages multiple times.
Jacob worked 20 years for Laban… and during that time he had a dream:
10 “In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. 11 The angel of God said to me in the dream,‘Jacob.’ I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 12 And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. 13 I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.
Dreams come in many forms:
- some tell us our current condition
- some teach us, correct us
- some bring healing and deliverance
Many times, dreams are symbolic (like the dream my daughter had of a blue whale walking through the mall), but other dreams are literal.
Dreams can actually reveal to the dreamer new inventions or creative ideas. In Amy Coello’s book Dreams: A Window into Your Destiny she writes about invention dreams like Paul McCartney’s dream that gave him the tune to the hit song Yesterday. Jack Nicklaus dreamt of a new golf swing technique and it raised his golf score. The most interesting was the story of Mary Shelley dreaming the story behind “Frankenstein”.
In the same manner, God revealed to Jacob where to focus his efforts to gain wealth. The angel in his dream said,
“Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted.”
Jacob took that dream and made a deal with Laban. In this deal, he could keep all of the spotted, streaked, and speckled sheep and goats from Laban’s flocks. It’s interesting to note that Jacob took action on the dream, he implemented a creative (albeit strange) technique that resulted in all spotted, streaked and speckled animals producing the strongest offspring, which in the end made him very prosperous. We can learn from Jacob’s dream that it’s important to meditate on our dreams and see if there are actions we need to take (or avoid!).
God reveals to Jacob a way to prosper, but it took preparation on Jacob’s part. Jacob needed to be ready for what was ahead because God had even greater plans for him and his family. God let him know that He had seen Jacob anoint the pillar in Bethel and make a vow to Him. God saw how Laban treated Jacob. And finally, God gave him the ultimate direction to “leave this land at once and go back to your native land.” This one dream laid out for Jacob his future direction, and how to prepare for it!
- Dreams can literally show us inventions, ideas, techniques.
- We need to pay attention and meditate on our dreams to see if there are actions we need to take. How does the dream involve us in the outcome?
- Dreams can give us specific direction for our future.
- Dreams let us know that God is intimately involved with us. He sees our circumstances, and knows our heart towards Him.
This one dream laid out critical direction for Jacob, his family, and ultimately affected the entire future nation of Israel.
Go home Jacob!