Lessons from Genesis 41:16


“I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharoah, “but God will give Pharoah the answer he desires.”

Of course, this is Joseph’s response to Pharoah’s request of Joseph to interpret his dreams about the cows and grains. It’s a short verse, and seemingly unimportant, and it is highly likely that most of us would scramble right past it without giving it much thought. But I realized today that often my attitude is not anything like Joseph’s here. I don’t give God credit when I use my skills that I am most known for (though, I’m not exactly sure which skills those would be). I am so self-absorbed that I don’t stop to remember that it is not me, but Christ in me that enables me to do anything.


5 thoughts on “Lessons from Genesis 41:16

  1. As far as the last sentence – isn’t that sort of thinking just alleviating any responsiblity that people have for their own actions?

  2. Um, not really. It is us being humble in realizing that we are unable to do anything without Christ. We have to take responsibility, but even the act of being responsible is ours because of Christ living in us.

  3. It’s just that the quote seems to indicate more of God speaking directly through Joseph (as in, using him as a literal channel) as opposed to merely giving him the ability to interpret, which is what your final sentence seems to indicate. Just trying to see how the two are comparable to one another.

    Just wondering if you were “giving God credit” for your ability to conduct actions, or for the actions themselves…because the latter could lead to a lot of potential problems, no? Don’t want to misconstrue it.

  4. What I gather from this is more the ability to conduct. Joseph could have taken selfish pride in the talent and abilities, like most of do, but he instead gave credit to God. It’s not me who is a great RA, but God in me. It’s not me that is so great at sharing the gospel, but God in me. It’s not my hard work that gets me A’s, its God in me.

    Joseph realized that his very ability to interpret the dreams rested on God’s provision. The same is true in everything I do.

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