Mathew 7:7

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7, NKJV).

In the verse before, Jesus says, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine...” (Matthew 7:6). Yet, have you ever had a hard time deciding whether an individual could be categorized as a spiritual dog or hog? Clearly, this statement of Jesus implies there are some who will not appreciate the “holy...pearls” of truth. When do we give up? When do we quit trying and “shake off the dust from our feet” and move on to others (Matthew 10:14)? How do we determine the difference between sincerity and insincerity? The first solution offered: “” (Matt 7:7).

Contextually, this passage is urging us to pray. Verse 11 says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Our Father in heaven is a benevolent God. He will not mock us if we ask. He wants us to ask and to help us make good decisions and improve our discretion.

In the book of Joshua, we find an example which illustrates this text well. Joshua and the people of Israel have been conquering the pagan nations of Canaan’s land, by God’s strength, and the unconquered nations were afraid (Joshua 9:1-2). Fighting Joshua’s God-powered army proved to be futile so a new plan of attack was devised by “the inhabitants of Gibeon” (Joshua 9:3). They pretend to be “ambassadors” from a faraway nation and seek a peace treaty with Joshua and Israel (9:4-6). Of course, if God’s people give their word they must keep their word. The “men of Israel” were suspicious of them (Joshua 9:7). Yet, when lied to by these crafty men they swallow the lie wholeheartedly (Joshua 9:9-13).

The Gibeonites were Old Testament wolves in sheep’s clothing. They were enemies pretending to be allies. How could Joshua and the leaders of Israel have been so foolish as to have made a covenant of peace with a people who were sworn enemies? The answer is found in Joshua 9:14, “...they did not ask counsel of the Lord.”

When we are making judgment calls we need to ask for God’s help. Husbands, wives, parents, teachers, police officers, bosses, elders, deacons, Christians are all called upon to make judgment calls. Prayer must accompany those decisions. To lead in those situations we must pray with confidence God will help (James 1:5). That day, Joshua failed as a spiritual leader. He would learn from his mistakes. Will we learn from them? Do not quit asking, seeking and knocking. “Pray for one another” (James 5:16).