The Comic Strip Dream
Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. Num 11:1 (NIV)
I classify the following as a dream, although it had many of the characteristics of a vision, and could be claimed as such. In particular, it had no spoken words, and I did not interact with it in any way.
Like the Moving Hills vision, I was strictly an observer. In this case, I had definitely been asleep, and it apparently occurred just before I woke up. If it was a vision, it occurred as I was still half asleep as I was beginning to wake up from a good night’s sleep.
Like a vision, the scenes in the event are still with me today, and I can recall it in detail at any time. It is reported because of its unusual connection with scripture and the healing message it imparted to me.
When the dream started, I was standing about 40 or 50 feet from a group of about 10 men that were lined up loosely left to right. All but two of the men were facing a house, which was more like a one room hut.
The hut had a grass or reed-topped roof which had been clearly on fire. It was still smoldering. It was night, and I could see stars shining above the horizon. The two men on the right were facing each other and also turned partially toward me. It was dark and I couldn’t see their faces, but I could make out how they were dressed, and the colors of their clothes.
The men which were facing the house were agitated and moving around excitedly. All the characters in the dream were dressed like biblical characters, with cloaks, and/or furs, and one man had on a turban like headdress.
As I looked at each one, left to right, a bubble with words appeared over their head, like in a comic strip. As I finished reading each bubble, the bubble disappeared, and as I moved to the next one, a new bubble appeared.
The words were clearly readable as if I had perfect vision or as if I was reading a regular comic strip. However, the people were moving about and waving their arms throughout. The third man from the left was clearly the owner of the house and he was exclaiming that he had barely escaped.
I don’t remember the exact words in any of the bubbles, except for the last two, those that were facing me. Their words are as clear today as when the dream/vision occurred.
Of these two men, the man to the left was wearing the turban and robes, and the man to the right was wearing a shaggy animal-skin coat. They spoke in the bubble, not out loud.
The man with the turban spoke first: “How can I get through to them Lord?”
The man in the animal skin answered: “I don’t know Hobab, they are too busy talking!”
At that moment I woke up. I told my wife that I had just been told a joke in a dream, but it didn’t seem funny. I know that I didn’t laugh in the dream.
She didn’t think it was funny either, and I wondered if there was a deeper meaning, since it was not a funny joke.
After breakfast I looked in the Bible to see if there was a Hobab listed in the Bible. His name was not in the index of my Life Application Bible (Tyndale) which is a New International Version (NIV) but I found the name “Heber.”
I looked up Heber in Judges 4:11 thinking that I might have misread the bubble. As it turned out, I had not misread it.
Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.
Judg. 4:11 (NIV)
If that was just a coincidence, it was a remarkable one. The only reasonably short name anywhere close to the one that I was searching for in my index led me to the word I was actually looking for!
The side notes in this verse led me to Numbers 10:29, and the verses that I found are exerted here:
Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the LORD said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.” He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.”
But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the desert, and you can be our eyes. If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the LORD gives us.” So they set out from the mountain of the LORD and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest. Num. 10:29-33 (NIV)
Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp.
When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the LORD had burned among them.
Num. 11:1-3 (NIV)
I found that Hobab was the brother-in-law of Moses in Numbers 10:29. In verses 10:30-32, he first refused to go with Moses to the promised land, but Moses persisted, and he decided to go. Moses told Hobab that he would help find campsites and “you can be our eyes.” Moses would also share all good things the Lord gives to them with Hobab.
In verse 10:33, they set out from the mountain of the Lord and traveled for three days with the arc of the covenant before them, and the cloud of the Lord was over them by day.
In verse 11:1-3, the people began to complain about their hardships and when the Lord heard them he became angry and sent fire which destroyed some of the outskirts of the camp.
When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the Lord and the fire died down. Moses named that place Taberah, because of the fire. The name means “burning” and in this case, God’s “burning anger” because of the complaining Israelites.
The solution to Hobab’s question was in Moses’ prayer. Prayer is the answer for getting through to them. Prayer!
There could possibly be a cross-link to the Moving Hills vision in this dream and the passages from scripture, but any such link is tenuous at best. In the Moving Hills vision, I was looking out from a mountain when I was seeing a clear path across the plains and through the hills ahead.
In the scripture, Hobab was to have the eyes that looked out from the mountain of the Lord across the plains of the desert for campsites. Did I see with Hobab’s eyes? Was he talking to Moses?
God’s burning message.
In any event, I began to deliver God’s burning message as the Holy Spirit began to move me.
“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” John 16:13-14 (NIV)
What I have found is that the Holy Spirit will have you say what He wants you to say whether you want to or not. He is not too embarrassed or too shy to put words in your mouth to defend what He wants defended. He is never sleeping.
“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Rom. 13:12 (NIV)