Asking for a sign is risky. We know of three major instances in the Bible where people ask for a sign. The outcome is uncertain.
INSTANCE 1. HEZEKIAH
Hezekiah asks Isaiah for a sign that he will recover from his deadly illness:
2 Kings 20:8. Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I will go up to the LORD’s house the third day?”
And the sign is indeed given:
2 Kings 20:9. Isaiah said, “This will be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has spoken: should the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?”
INSTANCE 2. ZECHARIAH
Zacharias ask Gabriel for assurance that his wife can indeed become pregnant:
Luke 1:18. Zacharias said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
And he is struck with muteness for months:
Luke 1:20. Behold, you will be silent and not able to speak, until the day that these things will happen, because you didn’t believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
Why was the outcome of this instance unfavorable? Was Zechariah complaining?
INSTANCE 3. MARY
Mary asks Gabriel how she will conceive:
Luke 1:34. Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?”
And Gabriel gives her a straightforward answer:
Luke 1:35. The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.