The Apostle Paul, Abraham, David, Peter, and Moses are among the elite characters in the Bible. There is plenty of ink dedicated to their stories… more than most others. Each of these giants of the faith, though mightily used by God, were recipients of God’s unmerited, unwarranted, undeserved grace… God’s great grace.
Without God’s intervention, Paul would be remembered as a tyrant and religious zealot, Abraham would have been a forgotten footnote in Babylonian history, David would have remained a poor sheepherder, and Peter would have caught fish. Nothing more. But grace…
Moses was born a slave. Amram and Jochebed, and their parents and grandparents before them, were exiled Hebrews, living in Egypt as bondservants to Egyptian taskmasters. They were impoverished, abused, powerless, fearful… and fertile. They were multiplying like rabbits. When Jacob’s family arrived in Egypt, there were seventy folks in the clan. Now there was a million or more.
Because the jealous Pharoah didn’t want to be overrun and overthrown by a slave uprising, he demanded the death of all baby-boys. “Kill the Israelite boys at birth! Drown them in the Nile River!” That’s when Moses was born. He shouldn’t have seen his first birthday… but grace.
God’s fingerprints are clear and evident. Moses was born a slave, but raised, educated, and trained as royalty. He was an Egyptian prince, in line to become Pharoah. Again, grace.
The story is recorded in the first two chapters of Exodus. There we read that, when Moses was forty, he murdered an Egyptian and then high-tailed it into the dessert. Fearful, He ran away. He escaped, knowing that he deserved the death penalty for his crime. For the next forty years, Moses hid from the Egyptian bounty-hunters, living in Midian as a poor shepherd.
At the ripe-old-age of eighty, Moses must have considered himself as a used-up and useless antique. He was far past his prime. His best days were gone. But God didn’t see him that way.
Graciously, God appeared to Moses in the most unlikely way. God had never spoken from a burning bush and God never repeated the miracle. There on the back side of the wilderness wasteland, the preincarnate-Jesus revealed Himself to the poor, old shepherd. As the bush continued to blaze, the Lord invited Moses into His presence. “I’m right here Moses. I’m near. I have a plan to save you and your family, to rescue the Israelites, to fulfill the promise that I made to Abraham centuries ago! (Genesis 15:13). And Moses, I’m gonna use you! You!”
God could have crowned one of David’s older brothers as king. He could have chosen Abraham’s neighbor. He could have used someone other than a fisherman. God didn’t need Paul or Moses to fulfill His redemptive purpose and eternal gameplan.
But He did! That’s unmerited, undeserved, unwarranted … grace!