The word “exodus” means departure. In God’s timing, the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt marked the end of a period of oppression for Abraham’s descendants (Genesis 15:13), and the beginning of the fulfillment of the covenant promise to Abraham that his descendants would not only live in the Promised Land, but would also multiply and become a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3, 7). The purpose of the book may be expressed as tracing the rapid growth of Jacob’s descendants from Egypt to the establishment of the theocratic nation in their Promised Land.
The theme of Genesis, the Book of Beginnings, is Creation. But because the apex of God’s creation—man—sinned, and although it begins on a high note wherein we read of God declaring everything He created to be good (1:31), the last verse of Genesis ends on a low and tragic note. The book that begins with creation, ends with a coffin (50:26).
But that’s not the end of the story, for in the book before us, God sees the condition of man and begins to work in a way that is heart-warming and mind-blowing. The Book of Exodus is the Book of Redemption, wherein we see God’s heart is for us and that He has a plan to set us free. Exodus is a picture book of God’s redemptive character, of His desire to set at liberty those who were enslaved by sin and stuck in a coffin in Egypt.
Between Genesis 50 and Exodus 1 is a time gap of approximately forty years—a time gap during which something quite amazing happens…