Sunday, February 20, 2022

Hebrew Word Study: Chalam' To Dream

Did you know that you’ll spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping? Yes, we all spend massive amounts of time, in the night usually, passed out, face smashed against a pillow, unconscious.

And eventually when we reach REM sleep, we begin to experience dreams. Some of us will remember many of our dreams, some of us often forget most of our dreams. But it’s clear that the mind stays active while we sleep. We process things emotionally, thoughts in our minds play out in dreams, and we even can experience intimacy with God, while we sleep. We begin to have spiritual dreams.

And that today is our Hebrew word, called “Chalam” which is pronounced khaw-lam.' This Hebrew word means “to dream.” It can mean three different things in regard to dreams. It can mean an ordinary dream. It can mean a prophetic dream which is a dream from God. And it can also mean a false dream, a dream from Satan.

What’s interesting is that Chalam can also mean “to be healthy.” Or to be “restored to health.” That tells us a lot about dreams right there, doesn’t it? They can be ordinary. They can be from God or from the enemy. And it also tells us that dreaming is restorative to our body and soul.

Our scripture today from the book of Job makes reference to the concept of dreaming.

Job 33:15-16 NIV says “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, 16 he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings.”

In the King James, “15 In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;16 Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,”

Chaim Bentorah writes, “Looking further at this word for “dream” I find that the chet represents bonding and binding with God, the lamed represents instruction from heaven, and the mem represents the hidden mysteries of God. It is in our dreams that we bind ourselves to God as He reveals His hidden mysteries to us” (Bentorah, p. 127).

Now of course we know that the vast majority of our dreams are not from God. They are simply dreams that reflect our thoughts and actions during the day. Many of us I’m have had stress dreams, where we’re hiding from a tornado, or falling off a cliff, or dreams where we see old places where we used to live or visit, I often see my grandma check’s living room, my grandma Steckbauer’s kitchen, my aunt colleen’s old house, the house I grew up in with my parents. Most of these dreams are simply reflections on memories, or things we’re thinking about during the day. You might say the mind is processing those things.

Now, you can also have something called a demonic dream. This is a dream planted by demons. I’ll share that this has been a week where almost every night that I’m having nightmares, many of them demonic dreams. These can happen if we’re opening ourselves up to demonic attack, so you have to ask yourself, are you watching movies or reading books about vampires or zombies or witch craft or spells or other occult imagery, that may be opening you up to demonic attack? That is an important question. Also certain drugs and chemicals can open us up to demonic attack. Certain medications may produce a high that opens us up to demonic influence. Do you occult symbols in your home, like a ying-yang, or a Ouija board, or shirts or clothing with skull and crossbones on them?

But in any case, even if you aren’t opening yourself up to those things, sometimes the enemy can plant dreams anyway. You’ll usually notice while your dreaming that you feel an oppressiveness. And something will feel unusually dark in the dream. I will tend to see zombies attacking me, or I will find myself in a dark room, and afraid for no apparent reason, or I’ll feel something very scary near me and I’ll be afraid, just last night I dream I was in my old bed room and it was very dark and I couldn’t find anyone, and then I was trying to close my door and something was opening it and trying to get in. Demons can also create dreams where they appear as a handsome man or a beautiful woman, and you engage sexually with them, then they morph into a monster or creature. Scary stuff. So if you’re under demonic oppression in your dreams, pray, and if you can realize that you’re dreaming, you can stop in the dream, pray, and God will wake you up.

But perhaps you’ve had a dream from God. Have you? If you ever do, you’ll know it was from God. It will be different from a normal dream. You’ll feel something is special about it. I encourage you to immediately write it down if you do. Otherwise you may eventually forget it. So do write it down. Reflect on it. Pray on it. And God will reveal the meaning to you.

One of the events of the Bible that really hit me hard was Jacob’s dream from God. Do you remember it? Here it is from Genesis.

Genesis 28:10-15 says, “10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[c] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[d] 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

I’ll share one dream I had from God. It was while I was working with a youth group in Elgin every week, and I was teaching them apologetics, it was so much fun, got their imaginations going, wondering about who God was and what heaven was like. It was really a great time.

But one time I fell asleep. And I saw myself in a church and everyone in the church was waiting, in dark, and many in the church were children, seated on the chairs waiting. And I sat down and look down to the right, and it was an infinite church down to the left, and I looked right, and it was infinite chairs and chairs to infinity. And then I looked up and it was a giant star filled sky. And I realized at that moment that each of us were like the stars, we were the fulfillment of the word given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would make their descendants as numerous as the stars. And we were all waiting for the second coming of Jesus. Amazing.

A dream from God can also be a warning. I remember when I was about 18, 19, I was becoming a troublemaker. I was smoking pot and cigarettes and drinking a lot with my friends. And I had this dream one night that I was in my car, in the dark, and a light popped on in the window, and I was so afraid because it meant something terrible in my dream.

Then, I think it was about a year later. I was with a friend of mine, and we had parked at the edge of the water at this park, at about 11 at night. And we were smoking pot in my car and looking at the stars and the water. And as I was taking a hit from the marijuana pipe a light popped on in my window. It was a police officer, and he had seen our car from across the lake, and gone over and we were both put in handcuffs, and I would later end in jail for 30 days because of that. The dream was a warning.

So in conclusion today, pay attention to your dreams. Invite God to speak in your dreams. Protect yourself from demonic influence in dreams. And realize through your dreams God is rejuvenating you, as you “Chalam.”