Moses was brought up and educated in Pharaoh’s palace in Egypt. Because of this he would have received the best possible education since (by God’s intervention) he was a member of the royal family. He would have been groomed to become a leader in Egypt by the scribes, teachers and wise men of Egypt. He was, according to Pharaoh’s plans, destined to become a great leader or statesman in his country.
Though this is where his training and grooming was heading, it was not what God had planned for Moses. His leadership would take him down a road that no one at the time would have expected or even considered. Moses, by God’s will and power, would be given authority and power to deliver the people of Israel out of bondage and from Pharaoh’s hand.
His divinely appointed task of leading Israel meant that he would also minister as God’s prophet for that time, and as the one that would bring the law of the Lord to the people. It is impossible to completely separate Moses’ three ministries of statesman, prophet and lawgiver since they overlap and intertwine so often. When he is seen standing before Pharaoh for the release of his people we see him as both statesman and prophet; as he was ministering the law of God to Israel he was not only the lawgiver but the prophet of God also.
As a prophet he declared and taught the Israelites what the Lord had spoken to him on Mount Sanai. His prophetic role can also be seen he announces to them that God has called him to deliver them from bondage and to bring them into their own land which the Lord had promised to Abraham – The Promised Land. His prophetic ministry is based upon the fact that he had spent time alone with God, during which he received His word and later passed on to the people exactly what God had said. Therefore, as any prophet is, he was God’s mouthpiece. It is through Moses that God spoke the Covenant and all the laws that governed every aspect of national life in Israel. Moses not only repeated but actually explained how God’s law was to be put into action in daily life. When misunderstandings or conflicts arose concerning the law he was the person who had the authority to clarify what God said.
As a statesman, it probably is not true to say that he was a respected political leader to those outside of the people at that time, but he is known as Israel’s first national leader. God had given him both the heart and desire to lead the people in the righteousness of God. Moses’ version of political rule was not according to that which was evident in the nations around Israel. Those national leaders ruled as despots, Moses’ idea was one of Theocracy – the rule of God. As national leader Moses is always considered subordinate to God. He would be seen as God’s Prime Minister, His spokesman. As statesman Moses represented the people of Israel. Since he was their leading figure he was the person who decided what was to be done in both war and peace. As God’s man he saw himself equal to the other national leaders around him, therefore he became fearless in standing before Pharaoh, and the kings of the Moabites or Amorites.
His ministry as lawgiver is easily seen. A simple reading of Exodus to Deuteronomy reveals that Moses is responsible for the law of God. The Lord spoke it only to him but in turn he brought it before the people. Moses was not the lawmaker, that role belongs to God alone. Instead he was the vehicle God used to speak with the people of Israel. This is why Scripture at times speaks of the Old Covenant as the “Law of God I the Lord”, and at others the “Law of Moses.”