If you have somewhat regular dreams, you’ve probably seen a nighttime or darkness setting more than a few times. I myself have had my share of them. Not long ago, I finally got to the point where I had seen a few too many of these and I decided it was time to do a further study to find out what I might be missing.
I had been believing that darkness or nighttime settings were all primarily negative indications, but I finally got to the point where that didn’t exactly make any sense in certain dreams. To fill the possible gap in my understanding, I decided to do my own exhaustive Biblical word study. In the midst of this, I discovered several new meanings which began to make a lot more sense in a few of my dreams. I do believe the answer to your own nighttime or darkness dreams will be found here in this article.
Positive and Negative
As with any dream symbol, there is often a positive or negative meaning which is discerned based on the context of the entire dream. As I’ve written in previous articles, understanding the meaning of a certain symbol requires you to first get a larger perspective of everything you saw. Often, you’ll know if a dream has a positive or negative meaning but that is not always the case just on the surface.
With some dreams, you may have what appears to be a contradiction of symbols which puts a tension between them, indicating both a positive and negative simultaneously. The only way to figure these out is to meditate on them and continuously search for the answer with the direct involvement of God through the Holy Spirit who reveals all things.
When this type of situation happens, you can be sure the answer is hidden for you (not from you). When you do get the answer, it will open up a whole new realm of understanding. This is a fairly standard method that God uses to give us an invitation to find something valuable He has hidden for us.
Parables and Metaphors
Give ear, O my people, to my law; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old
(Psalms 78:1-2 NKJV)
Dark does not automatically mean evil or something negative. Darkness is also used as a metaphor for something hard to understand. God does not go around speaking evil, so we can see how dark can mean a parable which requires skill and learning to understand.
Day and night can each be metaphors:
- Daytime is when most types of activities take place such as work, business meetings, travel, eating or many other personal matters that take place in public settings.
- Nighttime is when most activity ends and people are more isolated in their own dwellings; as such, it can also be a time of meeting privately with God in His presence, undistracted from daily activities.
Carrying this a bit further, we can see how these above symbols can have meaning for something longer than just a time period within a 24 hour day. Let’s consider these in terms of seasons of time.
A night season is when your normal activity ends and every type of daily routine of activities is disrupted. This is when God puts you in an unusual situation so He can reveal to you the depth of knowledge which He cannot do when you are in the midst of things that keep you too busy to hear from Him at this level. This is typically not something that lasts a few days but may go on for weeks or months or longer. For more on this, see my recent wilderness article.
In the season of daytime, you are busy with activities of many kinds. Unless you have made it a priority to get away and spend time shutting out distractions, you will not be able to receive much of anything unusual.
But, here’s where it gets a little interesting… daytime is also the time for speaking out, telling others the things you learned in the night season and to reveal what God has shown you. Daytime then, is the time that you reveal what God gave you in the night season.
Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.
(Psalm 19:2 NKJV)
This also clears up a lot regarding one of my own recent dreams where I saw a new partnership coming (young couple) as I was sitting in my car getting ready to drive somewhere (my next destination/assignment) and it was a morning setting which indicates my time of receiving training, instruction and knowledge about the things I need for my next assignment (night) is about to end and my time to apply and speak out all that I learned (daytime) is just about here.
Categories of Meanings
Next, I’m going to give a pretty long list of Bible verses along with a short description of what I found in each one as it relates to each symbol and the context of the verse. You will notice that when trying to interpret your own dreams, this is one of the primary methods to use to determine what God is saying through His metaphoric, parabolic speech. In these below, you will notice some are positive while others are negative.
It is important in interpreting any dream, not to immediately jump on a meaning until you have had a chance to let it settle for a short time. This is a common error which can be avoided by practice. Ok, with that said, take a look at these and see what may jump out at you regarding a specific dream you’ve had.
When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise, And the night be ended?’ For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn. (Job 7:4)
- This can be a time when peace of mind is disrupted due to stress and worries over things that God has made promises about.
Day unto day utters speech,And night unto night reveals knowledge. (Psalms 19:2)
- A time when God reveals knowledge in a dark time of life; this is often knowledge about Him and His ways that we did not previously know and could not have known about otherwise.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)
- This is a time of negative circumstances and trials.
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. (Psalms 63:6)
- A time of watching and waiting with expectation for an answer or guidance from God.
The day is Yours, the night also is Yours; You have prepared the light and the sun. (Psalms 74:16)
- This is a reminder that times and seasons in our lives are governed by God regardless of circumstances – both good or bad.
For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night. (Psalms 90:4)
- A “watch” is only a part of the nighttime; each watch is divided up into three hours each and there are four total watches during the night. This is like a brief time that may seem long but its end has already been scheduled by God.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. (Psalms 139:11-12)
- God sees everything that goes on, regardless of how people try to hide what they are doing. This also means that when we think God is far away, He is just as aware of our circumstances as when we can feel His presence or when times are good.
She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. (Proverbs 31:18)
- This is a reference to continual diligence in whatever we are going. It is like a figure of speech and does not mean we should stay up all night overworking.
When I applied my heart to know wisdom and to see the business that is done on earth, even though one sees no sleep day or night (Ecclesiastes 8:16)
- This can be a reference to those that overwork based on fear and lack of faith.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing. (John 21:3)
- This represents going about life according to the ways of the world, without any wisdom and direct leading of God in work or other pursuits. This shows the relative lack of results by this worldly system of hard labor and toil and that is what we are to expect when we live our lives apart from a close connection with God. This also reveals a motivation by fear of lack, rather than trusting in God’s divine resources and promises.
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4)
- This can be a simple direct reference to no work; for some reason you may find yourself in a situation without traditional employment. This may be positive or negative – God’s doing or your own. It also has a larger (dual) meaning that goes far beyond just our own personal circumstances as it refers to the spreading of the message of the gospel.
God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5)
- It may seem obvious here, but this is where we get the idea of darkness being equated to night.
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. (Genesis 15:12)
“Then you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the midst of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness. (Deuteronomy 4:11)
- Both of these each indicate the presence of God has arrived, but it also reveals how God hides Himself from view with our natural eyes.
So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. (Exodus 10:22)
- This represents God’s judgment coming on those who do evil works, but also hints at His deliverance for those who are following Him. Judgment therefore brings a twofold result and is not always a negative term.
Whoever curses his father or his mother, His lamp will be put out in deep darkness. (Proverbs 20:20)
- This represents both physical and spiritual death as a result of judgment for sin.
And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:30)
- This is a straight reference to eternal judgment in hell.
And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you. (Deuteronomy 28:29)
- This is also judgment due to walking through life in opposition to God’s laws; this represents being spiritually blind to God’s truth.
“For You are my lamp, O Lord; The Lord shall enlighten my darkness. (2 Samuel 22:29)
- This can represent our lack of understanding about a personal life situation or also a lack of knowledge regarding the ways of God.
He catches the wise in their own craftiness, and the counsel of the cunning comes quickly upon them. They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope at noontime as in the night. (Job 5:13-14)
- This is what it looks like to see people walking in evil ways contrary to God’s ways.
He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadow of death to light. (Job 12:22)
- This represents the hidden mysteries of God and those things we must search for and seek God with diligence in order to discover, so that He may reveal them to us.
For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)
- This represents a lack of understanding on our part for a certain situation.
He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. (Psalms 18:11)
- This can be a reference to getting away to the “secret place” where God dwells in order to spend time with Him undistracted from the matters and cares of the world. It indicates the presence of God. This again reveals how God hides Himself from our natural view.
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. (Psalm 91:6)
- This represents evil or danger that lurks around us in the form of sickness, disease or any other “weapon” that the devil tries to use to destroy us physically.
Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. (John 12:35)
- This can represent evil circumstances overtaking a person, but also ignorance regarding direction in life or about the ways of God.
Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons (Psalm 107:10)
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:79)
- These both represent death or the threat of death by any form of affliction or persecution.
To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. (Isaiah 42:7)
- This can represent people who are in bondage from demonic harassment of various types.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. (Joel 2:31)
- This is a direct reference to eschatological end times, but it can also mean a major change is coming to your life – this is not necessarily a negative indication.
But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:23)
- This refers to the spiritual state of a man who is unsaved, in a spiritually fallen state or has an evil nature (character flaw) inside of him that he has not dealt with and transformed according to God’s character.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12)
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)
- Each of these two represent behaviors of those who practice evil as a lifestyle and walk in ways contrary to God’s laws. We are instructed not to enter into partnerships or marriages with such people as they do not hold to the same standards that we do as believers in Jesus.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
- This indicates the presence of evil spirits around a person, organization or geographic location.
But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (John 2:11)
- This is a reference to those who are filled with hate, which is an inner condition of the heart that reveals a murderous desire.
If you look over each of those verses above and consider which may fit a recent dream, you should be able to get a better idea about the meaning. Again, as you can see, these are not all negative but many of them are. Proper understanding of the dream requires you to keep it all in proper context. The more you study these and other symbols, the more you will begin to understand your own dreams.
As I mentioned above, doing a Biblical word search regarding a symbol in your dream is one of the top ways to find out its meaning. Not every symbol can be found in the Bible, but many of them are there. The more you do these word searches, the more you will become familiar with many passages in the Bible and you will discover previously unknown truths. This has been one of the amazing results I’ve noticed from my own study and interpretation of many dreams. There are literally no end to the surprises you will find in the process of doing this as I have.
As always, if you have dreams you’d like me to look at for interpretation, please contact me and I will get back to you as soon as I am able.
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