This text is based on the story in the book of Numbers, chapter 11 verse 34. In brief: the Israelites are walking the desert under Lord’s leadership and they do the very wrong thing – complain bitterly about food. God’s response ? He tells Moses to announce that in the evening, they shall eat meat. Their unbelieving hearts do not trust that promise, which actually materializes when quail birds fly into the camp. And then, they start doing an outrageous thing: they begin gathering quail in order to stock the meat in makeshift storage in the middle of the desert (Numbers 11,32). Unfortunately this enterprise was lasting short time since while they were still chewing, plague from the Lord consumed them and they died in the graves they built for themselves (Numbers 11,33).
The selection of quail is not coincidence since this meat is considered delicacy and is often found in rich man’s menu. So in order to teach them a lesson, the Lord grants the request but it comes with the heavy price: death. The place where this happened is Kibrot Hatava or graveyard of greediness (desire). This biblical lesson is very much alive and actual today, which I learned while making the Today’s Bosnian Bible. In retrospect, one of these lessons I will never forget and is worthy to be shared. Here is how it goes.
Being on tight ministry budget, instead of renting rooms for vacation at the Croatian coast, one year I received the gift of boarding with the Christian couple.
Their ministry is – they claimed it to be – providing other brothers and sisters an opportunity for vacation without paying the price of accommodation. So instead
of paying for accommodation, I travel to this couple’s house at the coast and stay with them for a few weeks.
The church was in an adjacent building.
Just like the ancient Israelites decided to follow God and do what He began to tell them to, but finally succumbing to their fleshy desires, Christians from this church felt like plunging into amenities of the worldly life in Egypt: they craved for meat and vegetables instead of the heavenly manna. That wasn’t only craving. Desire turned into complaining and bickering among the church members, which affected the Christian witness. “Give us meat!”, they barked and threatened Moses who took this complaint before God. And unfortunately some Christians ask for mortgages, pensions and accompanying things which chain them in their journey rendering them unable to walk – literally. Majority of this congregation was sick: had issues with muscles, spine and suffered from all known Egyptian diseases. I witnessed surgeries, skin diseases and bad health in general, coupled with strife, spiritual harassment and complete loss of compass and orientation. Their houses were packed with Bibles and audio sermons but I haven’t seen any dust on their footwear. Instead, cars were impeccably polished in the Mediterranean sun. The best part follows: since they were constantly asking God to help them with their issues, God sent them a man from Canada, who straightforwardly told them during the worship service that they needed to walk out through the door of the house they were currently living in! So far, none of them did that. Instead, they told the Canadian man they needed some money. It is not certain if they received any.
Point is – this is universal problem which only the word of the Lord in the Bible can fix. Many God’s people have a picture in their mind of living in the house of their dreams, for which their mortgage their time and life and get chained to that one spot, inviting plague into their lives. What if the Lord’s plan is the ministry without any possessions but the guidance of the Lord, which is the best option for man’s life ? You just don’t store meat (cars, houses, income) while walking to the promised land (heaven). It’s going to weigh you down and suffocate your freedom in Christ. In fact, if you have greed in your heart, you are going to actually stop walking towards the promised land. You don’t buy a house and get pegged to it until you die. Instead, you dump that luggage and rely on the secure word of God of Israel. Odd as it may seem, I never lacked a thing while walking the ministry desert and my health has never been better. God knows what’s best for His children.
About Today’s Bosnian Version Bible Translation
The TBV is a modern translation of the Holy Bible into Bosnian using original language sources of Hebrew and Greek and localized weights and measures. Our vision is to see the readers of our translation be restored to righteousness. Our mission is to serve two groups of people: the retired and the teenagers, who represent the most neglected groups in terms of Bible knowledge opportunity in accepting the good news of God’s plan for their life. Our translation process is such that it asks the translator what the text of the Bible means in today’s context. Using knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, the final product is such that it allows the reader to read without hindrance and easily understand God’s word in today’s language.