If you take the term Exodus at face value it simply means a departure. This is the intent of the title and you will see the longest process of Exodus that we find in Scripture. We basically pick up where we left off in Genesis. Joseph brings his brothers and his father into Egypt in order to escape the famine and that is where they have remained. But remember way back when God gave the covenant to Abraham and said that he would have the land of Canaan as part of the covenant. Well, Canaan is not Egypt and so it is time for the people of Israel, God’s people, to head back to the promised land.
By now the people of Israel have become slaves to the Egyptians, and they are increasing in number exponentially which is a threat to Pharaoh. So, a solution is to kill all the male children (does that sound like what Herod commands in Bethlehem in Matthew?), but he doesn’t get any buy in from the Hebrew midwives. Moses is born, discovered in the water, taken into Pharaoh’s household, and basically becomes the son of Pharaoh. But he knows his roots.
You know this part of the story, Moses, basically the son of Pharaoh, sees and Egyptian beating a Hebrew and he intervenes and kills the Egyptian, that is found out and he flees to Midian because Pharaoh is actually looking to kill him. He gets married and lives a peaceful life as a shepherd in the deserts of the middle east. Not a terrible life, but very different from being the heir apparent to the throne in Egypt. Remember, his family and his people are still back in Egypt.
God hears the cry of the people of Egypt and in the iconic burning bush Scripture he calls Moses to deliver his people. Moses objects to the point where Aaron is called in, his brother still living in Egypt by the way, and Aaron becomes his spokes person. Now look at this strange Scripture in 4:24 where God looks to kill Moses and it is staved off by the circumcisions of his child. This is huge. We know that Moses would have been circumcised as a child in order to fulfill the commandments of the covenant, but he has not circumcised his children.
No one is going to be a part of God’s plan who does not follow through with what God wants them to do. This was obviously something that God required of his people, obedience, and the fact that Moses’ child is not circumcised says something important about Moses’ status before God. That is remedied and the story moves on. Moses appears before Pharaoh and makes matters only worse to the point where the people of God, the Israelites, are wondering why in the world he had come at all. We haven’t gotten to any of the plagues yet, but we are getting close.