Moses was an Israelite, a Hebrew, born into the tribe of Levi. The Levites were one of the twelve tribes of Israel. In particular, they were the ones charged with priestly duties. Levites were God's spiritual leaders.
Just prior to Moses' birth, the ruler Pharaoh had decreed that all Israelite male children should be drowned. Did Pharaoh know about the prophecies that said Messiah would come from the nation Israel and that He would come as a child? That's doubtful, but God used Pharaoh to accomplish His purposes all the same. Because the Hebrew nation was growing significantly in number, Pharaoh felt threatened by their ever-growing presence, so he issued the heartless decree. God had a plan, and after Moses was born, his mother and sister would act on his behalf.
Moses' mother and sister put the child Moses in a basket and placed him in the Nile River. His sister noticed that Pharaoh's daughter found the child in the basket. She named him Moses, which in Hebrew means, "Drawn forth." Without revealing her relationship to the child, Moses' sister asked Pharaoh's daughter if she should go get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for her. When Pharaoh's daughter, who had decided to adopt Moses as her own son, agreed to this, Moses' sister ran for her own mother. So Moses' mother was able to nurture him in secret, on behalf of Pharaoh's daughter. This account is found in Exodus, chapter two.
Moses grew up in the tradition of the Egyptians. Acts 7:22 tells us, "Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action." God was preparing Moses to lead His children, the Israelites, into the Promised Land. Moses confronted Pharaoh time and time again, demanding that he allow the Israelites to leave Egypt. Moses was initially reluctant to speak on God's behalf, even though God confronted him in a burning bush and commanded him to go. It's often easier to lean on our own abilities than it is to trust God. But God knew Moses needed to trust Him if he was going to lead the Children of Israel. So He tested him before Pharaoh.
Finally, when the plagues God sent on Pharaoh and Egypt became too much to handle, Pharaoh relented. Reluctancly, he released the Hebrew slaves from their oppression. Moses and the Israelites embarked on a journey that would take them in circles and last forty years.
In spite of Moses' leadership, the Hebrew people frequently disobeyed God. Because He is a just and loving God, the Lord punished His children for their disobedience. He desired to correct them in love. Many times Moses mediated before God on behalf of the people because of their sin. When he did, Moses would remind the Lord God of His promises.
Who was Moses? He was a person loved by the Lord -- just and you and I are. The Lord used Moses in a mighty way -- to deliver the people out of Egypt into the Promised Land. He was a leader, a mediator, and a deliverer. Moses was God's instrument in establishing the Ten Commandments of God to the children of Israel. Moses was human, which means he was not perfect. He wrestled with his emotions, struggled with his calling, killed a man, and disobeyed the Lord. Yet God used this man -- Moses!
Moses was a man of faith; he served the Lord, and he served the Lord's people. He is believed by scholars to have written the first five books of the Old Testament, known as the Pentateuch. Moses is an example of a man who was committed to the Lord. God used him to point the way to Christ.