Heavy emphasis on personal spirituality can often mean missing out on the powerful way the Bible speaks about the nature of political power in human society. The Israelite exodus from slavery in Egypt has inspired oppressed people throughout history, and numerous tropes of the story have been adopted by liberation theologies. But although the Sunday school story starts with Moses in the bulrushes, the first chapter of Exodus is a fantastic resource for understanding the nature of power, evil, and divinely-ordained resistance.
Exodus starts where Genesis left off, with the death of Joseph. An old era has passed away, and there is now a “new king” (v8) on the throne. Like all new rulers, elected or otherwise, this one is keen to assert his power and consolidate his position. What is more, the new king is ignorant of the nation’s history, and its debt to one particular Israelite. Read more