“But while he (Joseph) thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream…” (Matthew 1:20).
The phrase “in a dream” is found six times in Matthew’s Gospel, five times in the narrative of the birth of Jesus (1:20; 2:12,13,19, 22). The dreams revealed God’s loving care and protection for His Son and His servants to aid them from their enemies.
The Lord spoke in dreams to Joseph and to the wise men because they had to act quickly at a time of great danger and there wasn’t time to send a prophet to warn them, even if one had been available. (Israel had not heard from a prophet in four hundred years).
Today, in our decision making process, we have Christian history behind us, the Word of God before us, the Holy Spirit within us, and loving Christians around us. For believers today, we have what we need to make correct and wise decisions. We do not depend upon dreams but upon the resources He has given to us.
Does God still move in dreams? We are told by missionaries that He does. There are difficult people groups who are hard to reach with the gospel. So they dream of Jesus or “a black book” (the Bible) and then seek out Christians to help them understand their dreams. And many of these place their faith in Christ.
Whenever there are sincere people who seek truth, God can reveal His truth to them as He did to Abram in Ur, to Cornelius the Gentile soldier in the Book of Acts, or even to someone in Iraq, Turkey, or Iran. If they would only “touch the edge of his cloak” (Luke 8:43-48), He will graciously respond to the weakest faith.