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Many people look down on manual labor and the trades today. So-called ‘head-work’ is elevated and ‘hand-work’ is devalued. It’s then a small step from demeaning manual work to demeaning manual workers. Manual workers often feel they and their work are not valued in our culture.
If our culture doesn’t value manual work, it’s easy to think that God doesn’t value manual work, that such work is not so worthy or useful in God’s eyes. But, in Exodus 31:1-11, God helps us to re-assess the dignity, value, and spirituality of manual work, with many positive spiritual consequences.