What does the Bible say about dreams? How are they important, in both prophetic and “day-to-day” purposes?
There are several instances of dreams serving as messages from God in the Bible. For instance, Jacob’s son Joseph had 2 prophetic dreams. Later, Pharaoh and two of his officials had dreams that Joseph interpreted. Nebuchadnezzar also had two that Daniel interpreted for him and Joseph of Nazareth had several in connection with the Lord’s birth. The Magi were also warned in a dream to stay away from Herod upon leaving Bethlehem. And there are other examples.
Quoting Joel, Peter said that in the last days young men would see visions and old men would dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
So there is periodic mention of dreams being messages from God in both the Old and New Testaments. But that’s not to say that all or even most dreams are messages from God. In fact those that are appear to be quite rare. From the Bibles’ descriptions it seems that each person who had a dream of that sort knew it was a special message, and in those cases when they weren’t able to understand it, God sent someone to interpret it for them.
It’s important to remember that when God sent someone, He provided them with credentials. Joseph had demonstrated his ability with the Baker and the Wine Steward before he interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, and Daniel revealed Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him even though its contents had been kept secret. And both men gave all the credit to God.