He thought no one was around—no one would see. No doubt he felt anger over the injustice of the situation. Maybe that was justification for killing the man. He had lashed out at an oppressive system, but that didn’t stop him from hiding the body. Prosecutors would label that as an indication of guilt. When it became clear that other people knew, he fled the country as a wanted man.
It was a wartime indiscretion, yet the unwanted pregnancy was about to make his dirty little secret public. He had too much to loose—too much at stake. Her husband was a soldier under his command. If he could just order him to the right place at the wrong time, her husband would be a casualty of war. It wouldn’t really be murder, would it? The enemy would solve the problem.
The mention of his name caused fear among many. He had acquired power and authority to deal with this problem, and he had the courage of his convictions to wield it. If that meant some martyrs along the way, so be it. His nation and its way of life were threatened.
Have you guessed the identity of the three killers? They were Moses, David, and Paul. Of course that is not the way we are accustomed to labeling them. They were men of faith—men that God used in a powerful way. Yet each needed grace—needed forgiveness.
Moses heard God proclaim: “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…” (Exodus 34:6, ESV). David exclaimed: “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity…” (Psalm 32:1-2a, ESV). And Paul confessed: “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15, ESV).
If Moses, David, and Paul needed to claim God’s mercy, how much more do we. If each of these men had their character flaws, it’s no surprise that we do too. We must claim God’s forgiveness, and at times, we must also humble ourselves before others and ask their forgiveness too. We are works in progress. God is not through with us yet.
God took three killers and did great works. These three men found mercy and the transformation of walking with God. In the final analysis the great accomplishments were not because of who they were, but because of whose they were.*
*Thanks to Duane Stuart for sharing this sermon idea.