Happy Sabbath! Praise God that this hour not only marks the beginning of the Sabbath, but also the last orthopaedic surgery away elective that I will take as a 4th year medical student. I had a great 3 months, but being away from my pregnant wife has truly been harder than I imagined. I board the plane back to Cali tomorrow and look forward to 2 months of vacation and interviewing.
When I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in orthopaedic surgery I began to peruse different websites like orthogate.org/forums. As I looked at various threads from last years match, I realized that a lot of programs that I might be interested in only interviewed on the Sabbath. Immediately a conflict started to build up inside of me. I knew more than anything that I wanted to become an orthopaedic surgeon, but I wasn’t quite sure whether it was important enough to interview on the Sabbath for it. For a month I went through a mental battle, convincing and unconvincing myself that interviewing on the Sabbath was a means to an end. I reasoned that surely God healed on the Sabbath and so I would have no issues working as a resident on the Sabbath, and interviewing on the Sabbath was simply a means to that end. But something deep inside of me just felt uneasy about the prospect…I couldn’t discern whether it was God or just the strict concept of the Sabbath that I formed at Oakwood University. Either way I had to figure it out for myself, so I set out on a month long Bible study where I looked at every text in the Bible related to the Sabbath. I wanted to find out what God’s word said about the Sabbath, to make sure that the way I was feeling was based in the Bible and not in tradition or man’s word. I looked at each text and jotted down what message I felt that God was trying to teach me. Below are the texts that caught my attention:
Isaiah 1:13: God really lays into Israel in this whole chapter. He starts off in verse 11 basically saying why do you even waste your time making sacrifices to me? I really don’t take pleasure in the blood of lambs. He goes on to mention that many of the ordinances and celebrations (like the Sabbath) really lose their value when they are being kept by people who have rebelled against God. I think this is interesting, because as important as the Sabbath is, God calls it an “evil assembly” when it is being kept by people who have rebelled against him. So while the Sabbath is an important and holy day, set aside by God, He is not impressed if I show him lip service by going to church to “keep the sabbath”, yet I have not yielded my whole life to him. Also, God once again stresses what he truly deems important to him. He is tiring from the New Moon celebrations and sacrifices that are performed. Instead he tells the Israelites to Stop doing wrong, to Seek Justice, to encourage the oppressed, the Defend the cause of the fatherless, and to plead the case of the widow. Overall He is telling them that it is by these actions that I see that you are a truly follower…not necessarily by making blood sacrifices are attending Sabbaths and New Moon festivals. He God doesn’t say at all that the Sabbath isn’t important, however He is trying to get the Israelites to move away from the thought that they are saved by those actions. The savior is not the day, its the relationship between me and god, which should reflect in my day to day character.
Isaiah 56: 1-6: This is a good text because it basically starts off telling us to be just, because God is coming soon. And then it transitions immediately to talking about if we do this, and don’t desecrate the sabbath, the we will be in God’s favor. But I think the most important part is when he says that the Eunich or the stranger who know God should not think that simply because of their social status or their heritage that they wouldn’t be able to partake in God’s blessings. God clearly said that if you serve Him, and don’t desecrate His Sabbaths (whether you are a jew or a stranger) then He would welcome you into His arms. As to what it means to desecrate the Sabbath I do not fully know. The passage seems to imply that being just and doing what is right is a part of not desecrating the Sabbath, but it is still a vague term. If I had to think about it a little longer…..I know that the Sabbath is a day where we worship and reflect on God and serve others. If you aren’t doing that 24/7 are you desecrating the Sabbath?
Isaiah 58:13, 14
The message bible translation: “If you watch your step on the Sabbath and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage, If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy, God’s holy day as a celebration, If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’ making money, running here and there—Then you’ll be free to enjoy God! Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all. I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.” Yes! God says so!
Amplified Bible: 13If you turn away your foot from [traveling unduly on] the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and honor Him and it, not going your own way or seeking or finding your own pleasure or speaking with your own [idle] words 14Then will you delight yourself in the Lord, and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth, and I will feed you with the heritage [promised for you] of Jacob your father; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.(E)
NASB: 13″If because of the sabbath, you (AL)turn your foot
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a (AM)delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your (AN)own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And (AO)speaking your own word,
14Then you will take (AP)delight in the LORD,
And I will make you ride (AQ)on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the (AR)mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Out of all the verses that I have read so far this one seems to most closely advise me against interviewing for orthopaedics on the Sabbath. Particularly where it talks about not going “my own way” on the Sabbath, or “doing as I please”. The next question that comes to mind is whether interviewing on the Sabbath actually counts as pleasure? Does interviewing count as something that will please me, or is it just a means to an end? The message bible (or whatever it is) mentions that I should not use that holy day for “my personal advantage”. I feel that interviewing on the Sabbath is using that day for my personal advantage because I am doing it in order to of course see if I would be happy at that institution and also doing it to garner enough interviews so that I can be more confident that I won’t have to scramble. On another note though, if I truly had faith in God that he would allow me to match, the number of programs that I rank wouldn’t make a difference. But yeah, I could also argue the opposite that interviewing on the Sabbath is actually a way for me to know more about the program I will potentially be matching at, allowing me to make an intelligent decision as to where I will be spending the next 5 years of my life at. If I am unhappy for 5 years straight, I can’t see how my family life or overall psyche will be any better. However I think the most important part here is what I read in the Message Bible version…it says that by not doing as I please on God’s holy day or speaking whatever I want, that I can then enjoy God! I think that is an important point because by filling the Sabbath day with all of these extra things that are for my personal advantage I take my focus off of God and therefore I truly can’t enjoy the day set aside for my communion with God. Its an important concept that doesn’t just apply to ortho interviews but for my whole life. The point of the Sabbath day is the use it for what it was made for, communing with, enjoying, and worshiping God.
Jeremiah 17:19-27: The most important message I got from this passage was that the Sabbath is not a day to bear a burden, whether that be a literal burden in terms of working or just a burden of life. Even if my burden is something that is just psychologically troubling to me, I need to give that up to God and let it go on the Sabbath. I think this text further points out that God would not have me do whatever work I desire on His day. Another important issue here is that just like in Isaiah 58, God promises certain blessings if His people obey His Sabbath command. He promises Israel that if they do not carry and loads or burdens on the Sabbath that He will make sure that a descendant of David is forever on the throne and that the city of Jerusalem will reign forever. However curses come also if the Sabbath is not obeyed…He says that Jerusalem will be consumed in an unquenchable fire. So does this only apply to the Israelites or all of his people, even in this modern day? Does it apply to me?
Ezekiel 22:8,26: This text points out a couple of important points. First, God wants us to make a clear distinction between the holy and the common, as He did himself. I think that too often I personally let some things go by doing common things on a holy day, but God won’t tolerate that. He also will not tolerate me closing my eyes to keeping the Sabbath, particularly when I know and have been taught that I should. But overall, the distinction between holy and common and clean and unclean is important to make. Because when Satan can convince that all are the same, then you truly have stopped “remembering to keep it holy”.
Ezekiel 44:24: The actual verse was not very helpful for expanding my understanding of the Sabbath day. However verse 23 highlights an important concept. It says: They [the priests] are to teach the people the difference between the holy and the common. This is a concept that is important to the Sabbath also. If I am unable to discern what is holy and what is not, there doesn’t seem to truly be a way that I can keep the Sabbath as God would want me. Back in creation, God himself made the Sabbath day holy. There is nothing I can change about the holiness of that day. So what happens when I do common things, on a holy day?
Matthew 12:1-12: It is so refreshing to finally hear from Jesus himself what the Sabbath should be about. Jesus and his disciples were picking grain in the fields on the Sabbath, and the Pharisees called them out on it and told them that they are not allowed to pick grain on the Sabbath according to the 4th commandment which says not to work. Jesus gave them 2 examples where the ”the law” was seemingly broken, but in the end, it actually was not because mercy was shown.
The first example was when David entered the temple and ate consecrated bread (1 Sam 21:1-6). Now this was clearly a law being broken here because only the priests were supposed to eat this bread. But you have to understand what happened before this. In the previous chapters Saul has just tried to kill David and he fled away. Then he talked with his good friend Jonathan asking him to confirm whether Saul was still is angry with him and wants to kill him or not. Jonathan confirms that Saul is still hot with anger (after he almost killed Jonathan for just mentioning David’s name) and tells David he must go forever because Saul is very angry. So David set’s off with his men to flee from Saul. It is clear that God is leading David throughout all this, and that Saul is filled with the anger of Satan. So during all of this running away, David and his men have no food and are getting weak. So they come upon a temple, and David walks in alone and asks for some food to eat. The priest tells him that they have no normal food, but they do have the consecrated bread. Rather than the priest sticking to the rule of the law and denying David and his men bread, he shows MERCY and feeds them, so that they might have energy on their treacherous journey. In this case MERCY was more important.
The next example is where the priests are charged with going into the temple on the Sabbath day, which inherently is breaking the Sabbath. Yet, God allows them to make a sacrifice on the Sabbath to cover this. Again, MERCY is shown over sacrifice.
So in the same way, would the Pharisees rather that Jesus and his disciples starve on the Sabbath or that they eat? Jesus encouraged them to see MERCY before their blind sacrifice to God, which wasn’t event acceptable because they refused to show mercy to the innocent. In fact, Jesus quoted 3 different times in the Old Testament about what he esteems ABOVE sacrifice:
Hosea 6:6: For I desire mercy, not sacrifice and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings
Micah 6:6-8: With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Matthew 9:13: Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners? On hearing this Jesus said, It is not the healthy who need a doctor, But the sick. But go and learn what this means: God desires mercy, not sacrifice.
Even after all of this teaching, when Jesus saw a man in the temple with a crippled hand, the Pharisees looked at him again, questioning whether it was lawful to heal others on the Sabbath day. And Jesus had to point out their hypocrisy. They would easily pick up a sheep from a hole on the Sabbath, but they were questioning whether to help a human. Jesus answered that yes, it is okay to heal and help others on the Sabbath. And even more importantly, he mentioned who was the Lord of the Sabbath..Jesus. If Christ reigns over that day, then he would have the final word over interpretation as to what is breaking the Sabbath or not.
So what does this mean? Does it mean that I can now interview for orthopaedics on the Sabbath because my focus should be on helping others and not following every rule of the law? I do not necessarily think this is the case, and I think that would be warping what I just learned. Jesus did not say that everything else is permissible on the Sabbath as long as you show mercy. He still wants me not to “go my own way” as Isaiah 58:13-15 says. However, if I am presented with a situation where I have to chose between “breaking the Sabbath and showing mercy” or “not breaking the Sabbath by not showing mercy”, I should chose mercy, because Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath and he would have me act no other way.
Matthew 28:1: This text once again clearly shows me how much importance that Jesus put on the Sabbath day. Reading the later portion of chapter 27 makes it very clear that jesus died at like 9am on friday morning….well before the sabbath. and he rested in his tomb throughout the sabbath, and then ended his rest on sunday, the day clearly labeled in this verse as the first day of the week. So this made me think…if God finds the Sabbath so important that He himself chose the rest on that day (a 2nd time, because the first time was at Creation) then is there anything more important that i would purposely chose over resting on the Holy Sabbath day? I mean clearly there are things that God would have me do on the Sabbath, especially doing good and showing mercy, but i need to have a pretty good reason to step outside those bounds. No matter how i reason with myself there is absolutely no way that interviewing on the sabbath is important enough to not spend that day of rest with God. If God thought that day important enough to rest himself, even in death how much more myself in my menial tasks and appointments.
Mark 2:23-28: The most perplexing phrase in this passage is that of “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath, even so the son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”. I have reread this text in its various translations:
The original Greek says: 27 And he said to them the Sabbath for sake of man came into being And not man for sake of the Sabbath 28: so then Lord is Son of man even of the Sabbath
TNIV: 27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
WE: 7Jesus went on to say, `The Sabbath was made for the good of man. Man was not made for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man rules over the Sabbath day.’
WYC: 27 And he said to them, The sabbath is made for man, and not man for the sabbath; 28 and so man’s Son is Lord also of the sabbath.
AMP: 27And Jesus said to them, The Sabbath was made on account and for the sake of man, not man for the Sabbath;(B) 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
MSG: “The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He’s in charge!”
I like how the worldwide english version says it, because it makes it clear that the Sabbath was made for the Good of man…for the betterment of man. This seems to fit within the context of this passage where Jesus and his hungry disciples were berated by the Pharisees for picking grain on the Sabbath when they were hungry. From my previous research on this same passage in Matthew it is clear that Jesus prefers Mercy over anything else. So it makes sense that he would stress that if mercy could be shown on the Sabbath then do it, because that is what the Sabbath was created for…for the good of man. Now does that mean that everything is permissible? No. But then the question arises, “What is considered to be ‘for the good of man’?” By me interviewing on the Sabbath, I will increase my chances of matching home close to my family, which will increase my chance of having family assist my wife and I with our baby, which will also in turn allow me to help others with orthopaedic conditions, not just during the week, but on Sabbath also. So is it now permissible? The fact that I just went through multiple logical steps to explain interviewing on the Sabbath shows that I am forcing the issue.
Mark 3:1-6: This text basically repeats the scene in Matt. 12 where Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach and while there he heals a man with a withered hand. The Pharisees wanted to accuse him but he asked them which was better to do on the Sabbath day? was it better to do good or evil? It was a very simple question that they refused to answer seeing the trap in any response. It is very clear that God is stressing how important it is to treat the sabbath day not just as a day that you enjoy and spend with him, but also as a day where you show mercy to others. A day where you give life and help others. So i praise God that my profession makes that pretty easy to do. However I have wondered if it is possible to go too far in doing what my profession calls for on the Sabbath day. While setting a bone or going to the OR is just fine, is holding a formal teaching session okay also? Going to research conferences? Interviewing future residents? It all seems like a fuzzy line that basically allows anything to be permissible if you let it.
Luke 16:11-17: This is perhaps the same example as in the other gospels but it sounds different. Again Jesus is teaching in church on the Sabbath, and there is a woman who has been bent over for 18 years due to an evil spirit. Jesus heals her, and the Pharisees object, citing that there are 6 days to work, and people who want to be healed on the Sabbath should instead come back on another day. Jesus called them out on their hypocrisy, by citing how they would have no problems untying their donkey to water them on the Sabbath, but they were taking issue with Jesus untying that woman from the binds of Satan. I think in addition to the Pharisees having a wrong view of the Sabbath, I could also see an air of, “Stop looking at Jesus…look at me” thing going on. These people prided themselves on the honor and attention that THEY received on the Sabbath, and with Jesus healing on that day even that was taken away from them. I think this is also a warning in my ministry to not get so caught up in the attention that I receive that I can’t even recognize when Satan has overtaken me. I must humbly seek God each day, knowing my true state of character. Doing this will prevent me from ever going down that bad route. Overall, this passage once again proves that God by his example says its good to help others on the Sabbath.
Luke 14:1-6: This is basically the same story of whether it is lawful or not to heal on the Sabbath. But reading further on notice how this time Jesus is actually eating at a prominent Pharisees house. When Jesus notices how the guests were choosing the seat of honor he told them a parable about how choosing a seat of honor for yourself can certainly lead to humiliation but allowing someone to give you the seat of honor leads to honor. He basically ends with a quote that i need to internalize during the entirety of my life, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”. People may exalt me but i must always learn to humble myself, and perhaps then God would see fit to have me exalted. But if I seek exaltation then I am setting myself up to be humbled, which is never fun. In this interview and away rotation process I need to make sure that my humility is what shows, not my need for recognition or my pride.
Luke 23:54-56: This is another recap of when Joseph of Arimethea asked Pilot for the body of Jesus and buried it in a tomb. The women who had come from Galilee were with Joseph as he laid the body in the tomb, marking the place. They ran home and prepared spices to put on the body of Jesus, but verse 56 explicitly says that they restrained themselves from rushing back to the body of Jesus with the spices, and instead they rested on the Sabbath day, “in obedience to the commandment”. So clearly, even after the death of Jesus his followers are still adhering to the Sabbath commandment.
John 5:9-18: Basically this is another story of Jesus healing someone on the Sabbath and the Pharisees taking issue with it. Besides the obvious points that can be brought up about how the Pharisees were more concerned about what could and couldn’t be done on the Sabbath than the fact that a man had been healed. I found it very interesting that in verse 6, Jesus asked this crippled man, “Do you want to get well?”. This man had been crippled for 38 years of his life, and Jesus asked IF he wanted to be healed. It seems an odd question to ask a man who is sitting by a pool that is rumored to offer healing properties when the water is stirred. It seems obvious that the man would not desire to be in his current condition anymore…but is it? If I look at my life, there are numerous times where I continually simmered in my own sin, waxing and waning between gaining the victory “supposedly” and sliding back into sin. It was not until recently, that I am sure God asked me the same question, “DoctaJay, do you want to be healed?”. Or in other words, do I want to stay in my same situation, or am i willing to do what it takes to finally gain the victory overnsin. I even see this behavior in the clinic or the hospital. A patient has a chronic disease which can probably be put at stay if they would just adhere to treatment, and yet they don’t. And yet this patient still refuses to take their insulin, or they refuse to check their sugars, or they refuse to exercise or quit smoking or quit drinking. And to those patients, I am sure sometimes as a doctor you want to ask them, “Do you want to be healed?”. “Are you happy in your current state?” I think that by asking this question, Jesus is putting the ball back in our own court. He is certainly capable and definitely willing to heal us…to heal me, but do I want to be healed? Do I actually want to rid myself of this sickness called sin? Because if I am, God is ready to take it away forever.
John 7:22,23: This is basically another side of the whole story of Jesus healing on the Sabbath. Jesus is at a feast in Judea and he gets up to speak in front of the crowd. He tells them that they were so worked up because he healed on Sabbath, yet they had no issues circumcising a man on the Sabbath according to the law of Moses. So why do you have no problem healing one part of a man, but have a problem when I heal the whole man. It was a simple question that once again forced the Jews to figure out whether they understood the spirit of the law, or whether they were enforcing something that God had never quite intended in the beginning. For me, it is quite clear in so many ways that God has no issues with me healing on the Sabbath.
Interestingly, after going through all the Bible texts about the Sabbath, I still needed to talk with a mentor of mine who was a practicing physician and a pastor. I felt that talking to a pastor alone wouldn’t be helpful because they only have one perspective and they wouldn’t have been able to understand how crazy the Match is. So I talked with him and about 2 minutes into my explanation to him of my Bible study he cut me off. He told me that I could read every text on the Bible but what this was really all about was my faith and trust in God. Did I trust God enough to put Him in complete control of my future by not interviewing on the Sabbath? Did I trust that regardless of how many interviews I ended up with, that He would provide me with a spot in the end? The fact was that I DIDN’T, and I hated the reality of it. Despite all of God’s previous examples in taking care of my obstacles, when this new one popped up, I started to lose trust again. But God is good because He pointed out my weakness, and showed grace, allowing me to come to Him for the strength that I lacked. So after much prayer and deliberation, I decided to not interview on the Sabbath because in it, I wouldn’t be worshiping God or helping others, just myself. I decided to give it all to God, and leave it to Him to open the doors that need to be open.
Up until this past week I hadn’t received any interviews from programs that interviewed on the Sabbath. I thought this was God’s way of allowing me to avoid the situation all together, but it turns out that that wasn’t the case. This past Tuesday I received an interview invitation from the University of Virginia, a program that I had been interested in ever since I met 2 of their residents at the AAOS conference in New Orleans. When I saw that they only interviewed on the Sabbath my heart sank because I really wanted to check out their program and knew that they were too big of an academic program to care about accommodating me. But nevertheless I sent them the following email :
Hi Ms. XXXXX. This morning you sent me an invitation to interview at your program for either December 11 or January 8 which I am extermely happy to have received. My first introduction to UVA was at this this past year’s AAOS meeting in New Orleans. At that meeting I had a long conversation with 2 of your residents, XXXXX and XXXXXX who really got me excited about your program. Since then I have been anxiously awaiting an interview because I am positive that I would be really happy there. I think it would be a perfect fit for me due to its proximity to my family in Maryland and because of the amazing training that your residents receive there.
My only issue is that I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, which means that I go to church on Saturdays (similar to the Jewish faith). As much as I am amazingly excited about the prospect of interviewing at UVA, I know that I can’t because I would only be helping myself, whereas my faith calls me to help others on Saturdays. Because my faith calls me to help others on Saturdays, I would have no issue at all as a resident working in the hospital on the Sabbath (Saturday), but interviewing on Saturdays doesn’t really fall in the same category.
So I am writing this email to you to ask you, Dr. Chhabra, or Dr. Abel if there is anything that could possibly be done in my situation? Like I said before, I have waited for a while to interview at UVA and would gladly come on absolutely any other day besides Saturday, whether that is early in the morning or late at night. I know that this process is competitive and there are likely 10 other people lined up to take my interview spot, but I wanted you to know how much I did want to interview at UVA. If there is any other day I could come, even if its just me meeting with your program director or chair by myself, without the residents or without a tour I would be greatly appreciative. If this isn’t possible then I suppose I would have to understand and regretfully decline my interview day.
Thank you in advance for reading this email and I look forward to hearing from you!
I am really not very articulate so I prayed to God before writing and sent it off. In my gut I just knew that they would reply back saying that they would not be able to interview me on any other day. I mean UVA is a top 20 program, so why would they offer to set up a whole other interview day for one applicant when they could easily replace me with 30 other applicants who wanted my spot? But either way I tried to show a little faith and see what God had in store. The next day I received an email from UVA asking me if there was anyway that I would be able to attend the interview on Friday, the day before!!! They explained that this would allow me to interview Friday morning while still making the pre- interview dinner that night. I responded back quickly and they said they would start contacting interviewers to get everything set up! Just like that my faith in God was strengthened because I just saw Him do something that was quite improbable. I truly do serve a good and gracious god who cares about even the smallest aspects of our lives. God truly worked the interview day perfectly. In the morning I get to interview and later that evening I will go to the pre-interview dinner where I get to meet the applicants that are interviewing on Saturday and all of UVA ‘s residents. Praise god!!
Now I may get another interview on the sabbath and that school may reject my request, but it doesn’t matter. Where ever God wants me I will end up. I will be quite honest though, when I first received the interview invitation I began I waver in my decision. Various thoughts started to run through my mind about how I was probably being way to strict with the Sabbath, or how other Adventist from my school had interviewed on the Sabbath and successfully matched into ortho, or how I didn’t even keep the Sabbath fully on a normal basis so why now all of a sudden for such an important application process? I called my wife knowing that it was Satan who was reasoning with me and not God. However I knew that by myself I was too weak to beat the deceivers logic. I praise God for my wife. I told her that I received the interview and the conflict with the Sabbath. I also told her why I was considering accepting the Sabbath interview invitation. She listened patiently and then began to remind why I had decided to not do Sabbath interviews in the first place. My last argument to her was, “What if I do all this thinking that I am pleasing God and in the end it doesn’t really matter to Him?” She responded back to me with a famous quote, “If you live your life as if there was a God and there ended up not being a God then you’ve lost nothing. However if you live your life as if there was NO GOD, and it turned out that God did exist then you’ve lost everything, especially eternal life.” That quote was what needed to hear for sure and it helped me to make my final decision to email UVA to ask for an alternate date.
I hope my struggle with this and my testimony will help other Sabbath keepers in their resolve to hold to God’s word.