Book Reviews | The Miracle of the Seventh Day Ox

If I’m gonna be honest, most of my reviews are negative. We have that TRASH book about a 100 year old and a 16 year old getting married… don’t even remind me. So glad we burned it. (Part 2 should be coming out pretty much as soon as you’re reading it)Then we have Song of Eve which wouldn’t be that bad IF THE UNCLE AND NIECE DIDN’T GET MARRIED. Why do Christian authors like such weird relationships?
Well, this may be one of my first positive reviews. Spoilers, but if you trust me enough, let me just say in advance that this is one of the best SDA books I’ve read! If you don’t want spoilers, then don’t go on ahead. If you don’t mind, keep reading!
(also it was a loaned book and I don’t have it anymore, so sorry if there are any wrong spellings/a little slight wrong fact)
Now this isn’t a fictional story, so I can’t rate the plot itself, but I believe the way the plot was told was absolutely amazing. It was very visual, so you almost felt like you were with the main character, Nickolai Panchuk. Let me summarize the story real quick. (I didn’t actually summarize it that well, I basically told the entire story lol)
Basically, Nickolai lives in Communist Russia. He’s a Seventh Day Adventist, so thing’s are tough. He is in a prison where they beat him almost daily and ask for the names of the church members. He refuses to tell, so eventually they move him to a prison camp, which is basically a concentration camp. Now the concentration camp is in a desolate area in Siberia (I’m pretty sure but not positive), and is actually pretty casual. Hardly any of the guards carry guns because if you escape, really you’re dead because there are wolves and other wild animals. Nickolai gets called in to see the prison warden as soon as he arrives the camp. He’s nervous, of course, but when he meets the prison warden, things are surprisingly nice. The prison warden tells Nickolai he has no qualms with him, and that as long as Nickolai follows the rules of the camp, everything will be fine. The prison warden dismisses Nickolai with a smile. Nickolai is surprised and relieved, until he remembers that he can’t work on the Sabbath. The work schedule was pretty much every day from dawn to sun down. He’s worried, but doesn’t have the courage to talk to the prison warden about it right away, so he just goes through the week working. Finally it was Saturday, so Nickolai stayed in his bunk. Nothing happened until noon, when a guard finally discovered Nickolai. He yelled at Nickolai to get out of his bunk, so Nickolai got up. When the guard told him to go to work, Nickolai refused. (The following part of the story is a bit shifty in my memory, but I have the ending right for sure, so bare with me) The guard began beating Nickolai with his fist until both Nickolai and the guard were tired. Since Nickolai still wouldn’t budge, the guard decided to take Nickolai to the warden. As they entered, the warden was shocked to see the guard dragging a prisoner. “What is the meaning of this?” He asked. When the guard explained what had happened, the warden thanked the guard for teaching him how things worked at the camp, and grabbed a whip. He tied Nickolai to a pole and began whipping Nickolai. Even the guard, who I believe was named Yuri, was disturbed at the cruel pleasure the warden was getting out of whipping Nickolai. Finally, the warden had become exhausted from whipping Nickolai. He went back to his office, seemingly proud of his ‘accomplishment.’ Nickolai had passed out, and didn’t come to until nighttime.
The next week, Nickolai wasn’t sure what to expect. In the morning, the guard found Nickolai in his bunk. He took him to the prison warden, and the warden decided what Nickolai’s fate would be. He would be put in a crate, or a box. He was in there for 10 days. Nickolai was hardly fed anything in those days. He wasn’t let out to use the restroom. The bugs were excruciating. When he was let out, he couldn’t walk. The stench was incredible. This happened for two years. Sabbath, put in the crate. 10 days. 2 days out of the box. 10 days back in.
On day, the colonel came. The colonel was kind of like the prison warden’s warden, so he began looking around the camp to see if everything was going well. They came to the place where Nickolai was in a crate. The colonel asked why Nickolai was there. The prison warden shifted uncomfortably and explained why. The colonel looked at the warden with disbelief on his face. “Do you mean to tell me that you’ve been locking this man up in this crate for two years, and it
hasn’t done any good? Did it ever occur to you that there may be a good
reason this man isn’t following your orders?” The colonel ordered them to take Nickolai out of the crate. He began haggling with the warden on how Nickolai could get his Sabbath off. They agreed that there was one job that Nickolai could do. And that was driving old Maksim to the water hole to get some barrels of water to the camp. Now, Maksim was an ox, and while that’s better than a human, Maksim was still very slow and not fond of being prodded to go faster. Also, there was a quota of barrels of water that Nickolai had to bring back. By this time I believe it was either Monday or Tuesday, so he had to get all of these barrels that one would usually get in 7 days, in 3-4 days. The first few days did not go well. Nickolai could not get Maksim to go faster than Maksim wanted to. It was Friday, and Nickolai and Maksim needed many more barrels of water. Nickolai was quite frustrated, but prayed to God that they would be able to get a high amount. Nickolai prepared himself for the slow walk of Maksim, but Maksim was raring to go. Nickolai was shocked, but happy. He began running by Maksim, trying to catch up. They got the amount of water barrels needed, and Nickolai and Maksim were able to have the Sabbath off. This continued for a few years, and one of the prisoners, Peta, finally realized how he needed God, and was baptized. Nickolai is eventually released, and able to go back to his church.
Honestly, the way Nickolai was portrayed in this book was the best thing in my opinion. He wasn’t one of those characters who’s always strong, and the only weakness they show is always answered in the most amazing ways, which sometimes happens. In fact, he struggles with how he can rely on Friday being the day he gets water barrels, because he almost finds it presumptuous. He also struggled with being irritated at Maksim, and who wouldn’t? He was such portrayed in such a real way. I can’t quite review this the same way I can with fiction stories, but I do really think that this is an amazing book! Even if you continued to read the spoilers, please, if you ever get your hands on this book, read it! It is an amazing read, and it’s pretty short, so it shouldn’t be too hard to read.
Sorry for the shorter review, next up the disgusting romance of Jochebed; Yahweh is Glory continued!

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Book Reviews | The Miracle of the Seventh Day Ox

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