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The Repairing of Sam Brown


Chapter 2 - part 2

          Mrs. Richards read the first of the ten. "What did you answer him about this?" she asked.
          "Well, I told him the name Jew was not applied to any people till centuries after the law was given on Sinai, and then it was given to the descendants of only two of the twelve tribes of Israel who did receive the law at Sinai. Of course, he meant Israel, not Jew, and that matters little. But I did put in that the whole Bible was given to the Jews, and Christ was a Jew. Would we therefore repudiate these? Then, since his statement admits that the Sabbath given at Sinai was the Saturday Sabbath, I had only to prove that it was a law, known and kept before Sinai, and that it was not a memorial of deliverance from Egypt.
          "Then I turned to Mark 2:27, and read, ‘The Sabbath was made for man,’ the very words of Christ; and emphasized that it was not made for any one nation but for all mankind. Then I turned to Genesis 2:1-3 and showed him that God made the Sabbath on the definite seventh day of creation; made it of a section of time, the most enduring thing known; and gave it to Adam, the father of mankind. God would not be likely to rest till He had finished His work, so Me made it on the last day of creation week; and above all days He could not have made it on the first day, because He had not then done any work at all to require rest. Exodus 20:8-11 gives the fourth commandment as saying that they should remember to keep the seventh day, for in six days the Lord made the earth, and rested the seventh day, and He blessed the seventh day in remembrance of, or as a memorial of, creation. God sanctified and hallowed the Sabbath; that is, set it apart for a holy use, ‘made for man.’ Mark 2:27. And naturally, such holy men as Enoch, Noah, and Abraham must have kept it. I asked him if he thought the other nine commands were kept before Sinai and are binding on us today, and of course he said yes. Then why not the fourth? And when he said there was no record of the Sabbath’s being observed before the law was given to Israel, I remarked that there was no record either of the Day of Atonement being kept after the law commanding it was given, but it must have been. Silences in history usually prove normal law-keeping rather than abnormal law-breaking.
          "But I read to him from Exodus 5:5 that Pharaoh, before the exodus, accused Moses of making Israel rest (keep Sabbath) from their burdens; proving that Moses must have urged them to keep it as a matter of course, or God could not give them the blessing of deliverance. And in Exodus 16, it is recorded that before they got to Sinai, God gave them a test on Sabbath keeping, without letting the people know it was a test; and when some failed, the Lord asked significantly ‘How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?’ (Verse 28), indicating that the Sabbath command had been common knowledge among them for a long time. And all this was before the law was given on Sinai. Then I quoted, ‘Sin is the transgression of the law’ (1 John 3:4), ‘Death reigned from Adam to Moses’ (Romans 5:14), and ‘Where no law is, there is no transgression’ (Romans 4:15).
          "As to the Sabbath being a memorial of the deliverance from Egypt, I turned to Deuteronomy 5:15, which he gave to prove this, and read that they were to remember that they were servants in Egypt, and that God had delivered them, and ‘therefore the Lord thy God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath day.’ But I reviewed to him that in the first place God gave the Sabbath as a memorial of creation and of nothing else, then showed that this deliverance was an additional reason why they, the Israelites alone, should keep the Sabbath. And more than that, I showed him that this same remembrance of Egyptian deliverance was applied to other commands besides the Sabbath command. In Deuteronomy 24:17-22 they were told not to pervert judgment, nor take a widow’s garment for security, nor deprive the poor of the gleaner’s portion in the harvest. Why? ‘Thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in Egypt: therefore I command thee to do this thing.’ Are we to conclude from this that before they were bondmen in Egypt it was perfectly all right for them to pervert judgment, and oppress the weak? So Deuteronomy 5:15 does not prove that the Sabbath was not a memorial and binding on man before the Exodus; for the Sabbath does not date from the Exodus, but from creation."
          "And what did Sam Brown have to say to all this?" asked Mrs. Richards.
          "He said he hadn’t counted much on that argument anyway; but that number two was unanswerable. So off and on as we worked together during the day I proceeded to answer it. He was fair, but I don’t know that I convinced him.

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