Genesis 41:17–40

Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” (Genesis 41:37–40)

There stood Joseph right before him, meeting all the requirements. But even then, when it seemed appropriate for Joseph to volunteer, he restrained. The king, however, knew Joseph was the man for the job.

Who isn't impressed with Joseph's self-control? Refusing to manipulate the moment or drop hints, he simply stood there and waited. Somehow in the loneliness of his recent years, abandoned and forgotten in prison, he had learned to let the Lord have His way, in His time, for His purposes. Absent of selfish ambition, Joseph refused to promote himself. How refreshing—how rare!

How many of us have maneuvered or plotted to get our own way, only to live to regret it? One of the most embarrassing memories many people have is the day they got what they schemed and manipulated to acquire—only to see it dissolve right in their hands. That was not the kind of promotion Joseph wanted.

If God was in it, God would do it. That's precisely what happened here. God was in it, and God did it. Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God told you all this, there is obviously no one as discerning or as wise as you. Therefore, I'm putting you in command of everything. The only person you answer to—the only person with more authority—is me. You're second in command. You're now my prime minister." Do you know what Pharaoh saw in Joseph? Gold.

The word discernment suggests the ability to have shrewd insight into a situation and act constructively in times of need. Joseph was a man who could do this and much, much more. He understood how to assess a situation and make the right decisions, even under pressure. He understood this, because it was through pressure that he had been refined into gold.


Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.