How does God respond when his people cry out to him? The first part of the book of Exodus recounts a powerful confrontation between God and the injustice of Pharaoh. This section is a fast-paced narrative that leads to divine justice, rescue, and deliverance.
Abraham’s family has fulfilled God’s original command to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (Exodus 1:7). But instead of ruling alongside God in his good world, the Israelites find themselves enslaved to a cruel leader in the land of Egypt.
In response to their cries, God raises up Moses as his representative to deliver the Israelites. Moses confronts Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt through ten plagues, culminating in the Passover. God strikes down the firstborn sons in the land but provides a way of escape through the blood of lambs.
When the Egyptians pursue the fleeing Israelites, God parts the waters of the sea for the Israelites to cross and swallows Pharaoh's army behind them. The first song of praise exalts God as their king and redeemer. However, shortly after, the Israelites begin grumbling, showing their own hardness of heart.