Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them. Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. Exodus 1:6-8
If you were to just sit down and start reading through the Old Testament, you would see in verse 8 both a link to the past and a foreshadowing of what is to come. Genesis 40:23 records another of God's forgotten children. Joseph's only request to the cupbearer was when restoration occurred he remember Joseph. Joseph, after all, had been sentenced unjustly. Well, the restoration occurred but the cupbearer completely forgot about Joseph. Nevertheless, God hadn't forgot about Joseph, and he is eventually vindicated beyond anything that could have been asked or imagined.
So when we come to Exodus 1, I think the author of the first five books of the Bible wants us to have Genesis 40 in mind. A Pharaoh arose that had forgotten what Joseph had done for the empire of Egypt. But God never forgets His people. And even before a cry for help comes from the sons of Israel, God is raising up their deliverance (Exodus 2:2ff).
This has major implications for our lives. The one that is helping me currently is that my hope is not in who remembers or forgets, or who sees or doesn't see. All of this belongs to the jurisdiction of the God who never forgets His people. And therefore everything that is done, great or small, must be done with an eye to Him.