Exodus is the second book written by Moses, and unlike in Genesis, he is a main character in this narrative. Exodus, meaning “departure,” is about Israel’s redemption. Keep this in mind as you begin to read.
The children of Israel live well during Joseph’s lifetime, but when Joseph dies, things change for them under the new king (1:8). Pharaoh the Egyptian oppresses Israel, and after a time he begins killing their male children, attempting to stop Israel from becoming their own nation. Out of this tragedy God raises Moses as mediator between Himself and His people in order to save them, and Moses trusts in God’s faithfulness, as the author of the book of Hebrews attests: “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter” (Hebrews 11:24). And as we read in Psalm 32:10, “Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.”
God hears the cry of his people and remembers his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob (2:23-24). He comes to rescue them and to fulfill His promise to make Abraham a nation and bring them to Canaan (Genesis 12:2). 72 members of Jacob’s family went to Egypt (Genesis 46:26), and they became a nation: “the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad” (1:12). Exodus 1-2 teaches us that God is faithful and keeps His promises; it also teaches us that no circumstances can change God’s plans for His people. And especially for us, Moses’s role in this redemption narrative prepares pointedly for Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant, in which we stand today. He is our place of safety, a hidden place in this wicked world (Psalm 32:7). He promised to protect us from our troubles.