Consider how diverse and unpromising were the human materials that God chose for the fulfilment of his purposes. Cf. Deut. /:7, 8; 9:4, 5. One secret of how God could do this is described in verses 24, 25a. Is this a secret of victory that you have learnt for yourself? Cf. phil. 4:13; 2 Cor. 12:9.
Consider especially Reuben, Judah and Joseph. In whom was the promise of verse 10 fulfilled? (See mg. for sense; cf. Ezek. 21:27.) Cf. also 1 Chr. 5:1, 2.
By their own confession, what did Joseph do for the people of Egypt?
How did he remain true to his father’s God amid all the pressures of his office?
What different points of view produced the two retrospects of Jacob in 47:9 and 84:15, 16?
Which is more worthy of our imitation?
Note Jacob’s confident faith and prayer for his two grandsons. Cf. Heb. 11:21; Gen. 18:18, 19; Deut. 6:4-7; Ps. 78:5-7. What can we learn from this concerning the privilege and responsibility of Christian parenthood?
What were the reasons for Joseph’s intensity of feeling in verses 1-15?
What was his attitude to the sufferings that preceded the reconciliation?
What can we learn from this of God’s longing to reconcile his sinful creatures, at whatever cost?
What blessings did the restoration of family harmony bring with it?
How do the actions of Joseph’s brothers in this chapter show a real change in them?
Contrast their behavior towards their father and another beloved son in 37:18-31.
Observe how in this second visit to Egypt Judah takes the lead; see 43:3, 8; 44:14, 16, 18.
What qualities are revealed in his speech in verses 18-34?
How does this teach us that we should not despair of anyone?
See 37:26, 27; 38:1; Ps.119:59.