Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
- Genesis 41:15-16
This is Joseph’s shot. After years of waiting in prison, he finally gets to stand before the Pharaoh. If all goes well here, Joseph will get out of prison.
The Pharaoh had a dream and needed an interpreter. Joseph has a history of accurate dream interpretation and a reputation for skill in this area. For some reason, none of Pharaoh’s magicians and wise men could help him make sense of these dreams. The Pharaoh is desperate.
All of this makes Joseph’s first words all the more astounding: the desperate prisoner says to the desperate Pharaoh “I cannot do it.” In that critical moment, God remains at the center of Joseph’s world. Joseph’s willingness to insert God into the middle of the conversation reflects his lived experience that the blessings in his life stem from the Lord’s presence in his life.
Joseph isn’t about to take credit for his own skillset and abilities. He doesn’t want to be enticed by the mythic power of self-sufficiency. He wants to rely on God. And that’s what makes him extraordinary.
How do you navigate credit-giving in your own walk with God? How do you talk about your own skills, talents, and abilities? How can you point to God in your heart and in your conversations this week?