Getting Out of the Way

When it finally happened, it happened fast. One minute Joseph was in prison; the next he was standing before the Pharaoh interpreting a disturbing dream that the king had suffered repeatedly.
This was his big moment, the moment to shine, the moment to put himself forward, to make a name, to take some credit and to get what he rightfully deserved after all his suffering.
The Pharaoh asked Joseph if he could interpret the dream. The correct answer for the one million dollar prize was, “yes.” We are told to be positive, to be confident, to have our resumes polished and loaded with personal initiative and promising achievements. If you want to get ahead in life, you have to “toot your own horn,” “blow your own trumpet,” because no one else will do it for you.
“‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh…” (Genesis 41:16, NIV).
If Joseph had ever spoken words that demonstrated his trust in God, these were the words. He knew his own limitations, However, he also walked with the God who had no limits.
“…but God will give Pharaoh the answers he desires.” Notice that Joseph didn’t even hint that God would give him the answers to pass on to Pharaoh. Joseph did everything he could to remove himself from whatever God was going to do in the Egyptian king.
This is a good principle for those of us who work to help people along in their spiritual journeys. We need to be there, but we need to be very careful that the relationship that develops with those we mentor, counsel or disciple, is secondary to the relationship that they need to develop with God.
The last thing we should want is for that person to be dependent on us and forget that we are not the source of truth, but God Himself is. We need to get out of the way as much as it is possible.
Pharaoh got the point. When it came to appointing a man to oversee the necessary arrangements to save Egypt from disaster, he chose Joseph, not because of the man, but because of his God: “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” (41:38, NIV).


  1. Love that Pharaoh got the point - and showed us that. Great reminder, Lynda!


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