14 “Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” (Genesis 41:14–16 (ESV)
Pride may be defined as a reasonable or justifiable self-respect. However, it can also be an improper and excessive self-esteem known as conceit or arrogance. The apostle Paul expressed a positive kind of pride when speaking of confidence in the believers at Corinth (2 Cor. 7:4) or of one’s strength in the Lord (2 Cor. 12:5, 9). However, it is the sinful meaning of “pride,” which most frequently appears in the Bible; both in the Old Testament and New Testament.
The ten Hebrew and two Greek words generally used for pride refer to being high or exalted in attitude. One Greek word for pride refers to a person being puffed up or inflated with egotism. The idea is that one gives the impression of substance but is really filled only with air (see, e.g., 1 Cor. 5:2; 8:1; 13:4; Col 2:18). Presumably, hot air.
Pride is basically a sin of attitude and of the heart and spirit. Hence one reads, “Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin” (Prov. 21:4, rsv).
Pastor Robert M. Godfrey writes, “The vice of pride takes the form of boasting in ourselves. We can boast of our prosperity in a health-and-wealth-gospel way, or we might credit ourselves with successful evangelism, or we might pat ourselves on the brain, so to speak, as great scholars. The sin of pride takes root when we stop looking to God (His providence, wisdom, and grace) as the source of all these benefits and start to take the credit ourselves.”
In contrast, humility is an attitude opposed to prideful arrogance. Humility is often praised and rewarded by God. Humility is having a spirit of lowliness, or affliction, in which one experiences a loss of power and prestige. Outside of biblical faith, humility in this sense would not usually be considered a virtue.
Within the context of God’s Word, humility is considered the proper attitude of human beings toward their Creator. Humility is a grateful and spontaneous awareness that life is a gift, and it is manifested as an ungrudging and un-hypocritical acknowledgment of absolute dependence upon the Lord.
Joseph was a man who displayed genuine humility in his audience with Pharaoh. While a youth, Joseph may be suspected of pride (Gen. 37:1-11). However, as a young man (Gen. 41:46), Joseph demonstrated genuine humility when he said to Pharaoh, ““It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”
In other words, Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams was apart from him. Rather, it was solely from God. Joseph gave all glory to God in his ability to interpret dreams. In whatever abilities the Lord gives believers in Christ (I Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 2:10), all things are to be done for His glory alone (I Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17).
The Latin phrase Soli deo Gloria, with which we conclude each blog, means to God alone be glory. Let us never lose sight of this truth. Have a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!