God and Monopoly

Refocusing and Reframing – Part 4

When you hear “monopoly” you probably think of a board game (people actually played these before video games were invented). If you have taken business courses in University, you think about large businesses, those big bad companies who tried to lower quality and raise prices out of greed. In 1890, the United States Congress passed the famous Sherman Antitrust Act designed to prevent monopolies and cartels from controlling the market and the price of commodities. The Act was strengthened by two additional pieces of legislation in 1914. Monopolies, except under very rare circumstances, are illegal.

But there is another area where a monopoly is wonderful to consider. God is called “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10); He has a monopoly on grace! You will not find it anywhere else. He owns it, controls it, and dispenses it. He has set the price. His grace is free!

It would be profitable to consider the context of 1 Peter where this unique title occurs: a persecuted and suffering people. And though we would not, without blushing, think of our current circumstances as comparable to theirs, we still need grace. You need grace just to wear those horrible face masks!

There are some links with the grace needed in Peter’s day and the grace we need today. One area is that of submitting to government (1 Pet 2:13). We all are getting confused as we hear conflicting information about the current state of affairs. One news feed will tell us that we are overdoing it with “our shelter in place” orders. Then we hear from other “experts” who tell us that there is a second wave coming which will outdo the first and that we can expect a resurgence this winter. So, are we in lockdown until 2021? We are told one month that masks are useless and then we are told that we must wear one if we go into a store. That sound you hear is not a malfunctioning home appliance. It is a government drone spying on whether you are staying in or, perish the thought, looking out of your door. Yes, we need grace to submit and to do so quietly.

Wives need grace for patience with husbands who are home and climbing the walls (1 Pet 3:1-5). There is no creature known to man so restless as a caged husband! Mothers need grace for children who are home from school and “homeschooling” via computer. Any suggestions on how to keep a hyperactive child in front of the computer screen would be welcomed by a number of mothers.

We all need grace for day to day stability. We need grace for mental calm amidst so much calculated to create anxiety (turn off the news feeds) as Peter tells us (1 Pet 5:7). Is there a conspiracy to keep us all in a state of perpetual frustrated expectations?Grace is available but there is only one place to get it. He is the God of ALL grace. You can come and receive the grace you need by abiding under the shadow of His wing … but do not forget the mask and do not open the door if you hear the drone overhead.

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