Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I cannot do it

Are you good at something? Do you have a knack for math or writing or maybe athletics? Are you ever complimented? How do you respond? Maybe you say, "Thank you." That's the polite thing to do, right?

It may be the polite thing to do. But, it's not what Joseph did. In Genesis 41:15-16 we read:

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."


Joseph has been in prison for quite awhile at this point in his life. He could really use a favor from a powerful ally. It would be really nice if he was perceived as valuable to someone. And, who better to set him free than the king. But, instead of accepting the compliment, he corrects the king and makes sure the king knows that the gift of interpretation comes from God ... from a God that Pharaoh probably doesn't even believe in. This could have really backfired. This could have angered the king. You don't want to anger the king of Egypt!

The end result is that Pharaoh gives God the glory for Joseph's interpretation (Gen 43:39). Nice job, Joseph!

It might sound crazy. But, you just might practice this easy to remember phrase, "I cannot do it." Keep it handy for times when you receive a compliment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good reminder....I'll make a effort to keep that phrase and attitude top of mind. Thx