Photo of an old wooden road sign with 'narrow road' on it "The way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Mt 7:14

Signs are natural or supernatural occurrences which point to something God is doing/about to do, just as a road sign points to a destination. As with road signs they can appear a long way from the destination and can thus appear confusing unless we recognise that! Signs are not really needed when the way we are travelling is well known to us; it is when we are on paths new to us that they become more useful. The word for sign in Hebrew is ort (226) this comes from the root avah (184) which means to sign, mark, inscribe with a mark.
The first event that is called a sign in the bible illustrates this in
Gen 4. After being cursed by God, Cain complains:

“‘My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from You face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth. And whoever finds me will kill me.’ So the LORD said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the LORD appointed a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.” Gen 4:13-15

Here God marked Cain with a sign so that all would recognise it and not kill him.
The lights / stars in the heavens are for signs for us – hence the fascination of horoscopes etc.
“Then God said, ‘let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.’” Gen 2:14 See also Joel 2:10+30-31, 3:15, Amos 8:9, Mt 24:29, Mk 13:24, Lk 21:25, 23:45, Rev 6:12, 8:12, 9:2, 16:8.

The rainbow was the next sign in scripture Genesis 9, where God established His first covenant with mankind never to destroy the earth and flesh with a flood again.

One of the first signs to man (although not specifically named as such in scripture) came in the Garden of Eden. After disobeying God and eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve clothed themselves.

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings……Then the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” Gen 3:7+21

The coverings that they made were flimsy and temporary. When God arrived he clothed them fully with skins, sacrificing an animal to do so – thus pointing to the need for Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for sin and clothe us with His righteousness.

“So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” Romans 5:18

As you get closer to the destination the signs become more obvious

The ‘Lamb of God’ is one of the primary signs in the Bible. A lamb is first mentioned in Genesis 22. Abraham has been promised by God that:

“Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.” Gen 17:19

However, he is told by God to:

“Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Gen 22:2

Abraham shows himself to be a man of faith, as when he gets there he says to the servant:

“Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Gen 22:5

In Hebrews it comments on this verse when it says:

Hebrews 11:17 “By faith Abraham when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; it was he to whom it was said ‘In Isaac you descendants shall be called.’ He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.”

When Isaac asks “Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham replies “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Gen 22:7+8

The lamb does not immediately arrive and Abraham, holding onto the promise that God had given, proceeds to offer Isaac on the altar.

“Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched our his hand and took the knife to slay his son. Gen 22:9+10

The angel of the Lord intervenes and points out a lamb as a substitute saying:

Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me. Gen 22:12

Abraham, by being willing to offer up his son, helped to make a way for God the Father to offer up His Son as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” John 1:29 This is why Jesus said that “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” John 8:56 Abraham, in recognising that God could raise his son, saw the day of the resurrection of the dead.

The next major occurrence of the sign of a lamb is the Passover lamb in Exodus 12. Here it becomes more specific in that the lamb had to be an unblemished male. Exodus 12:5, 1 Peter 1:19 It was blood of the lamb was what would keep their first born safe from death, and they all had to eat the whole of the lamb’s body.

Isaiah returns to the theme when he prophesies about the suffering servant:

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face He was despised and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not op en His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away; and as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? Isaiah 53:1-8

John the Baptist directly applied this sign when he saw Jesus and said:

“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

“Behold, the Lamb of God!” John 1:35

Yet even with all of these signs the disciples still had trouble recognising that Jesus’ death was God’s plan to redeem mankind from sin.

A Chinese sign with gold lettering glistens in the sun.
Some signs will require interpreting!

Some signs are easy to read for those who are practised. When Saul has been disobedient yet again and Samuel refuses to return with him: “Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbour, who is better than you.” 1 Samuel 15:27-28

Scripture permits us to ask for a sign: “Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, ‘Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.’” Isaiah 7:10
Gideon asked for a fleece to be a sign from God. Judges 6:36-40

a cartoon of a group of people seeking God. One is thinking 'I'm sure that's not God. I don't want to share that - I'm sure it's wrong...Ok God - if you do want me to share it them make Lionel's head disappear as a sign' He then stares at Lionel and nothing happens. As he closes his eyes with a 'Oh well - too bad.' Lionel's head disappears with a Poof!

Cartoon courtesy of

Unlike this cartoon however, do be realistic about when you ask! Ahaz and Gideon were both faced with life changing events when a sign was required.

People can be signs. Isaiah was a sign when he walked around naked for three years! The death of Ezekiel’s wife was a sign. Ezekiel 24:15-24 The wise men following the star and bringing gifts was another sign from God.

While praying for a new building for a church, I noticed two white clouds in the sky. They disappeared in a matter of seconds. I had never seen anything like this before and started to wonder what it meant. I felt the Holy Spirit whisper that it was a sign. I meditated on this and looked up ‘clouds’ in a bible concordance. I came across these passages:

“When a cloud vanishes, it is gone, so he who goes down to Sheol does not come up.” Job 7:9

“And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9

When the Ark of the Lord was brought into the newly built temple, scripture records that:

“It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.” 1 Kings 8:10

I brought this to the attention of the pastor at the beginning of the Sunday morning meeting. saying that I believed it referred to both people and the new building. During the meeting the wife of one of the leaders was contacted on her mobile and had to leave as her mother had suddenly died. The pastor’s father died within a few weeks. Two buildings that the church had submitted plans and were bidding for fell through. Two clouds disappeared, two people died, two buildings fell through. When an offer was made for a third building however, I was confident it would be accepted. I told the leadership so, and the church moved in soon after.

1. Introduction.
2. God's nature as creator and communicator.
3. The role of the Bible.
4. Turn aside when you notice something.
5. Be careful what you worship.
6. The Holy Spirit quickens things.
7. Hide and seek using parables.
8. Ask the Holy Spirit.
9. The inner room is where we meet with God.
10. The importance of peace and stillness.
11. Don't hurry God will speak.
12. Waiting and longing takes us higher to a place where God acts.
13. What price do we have to pay?
14. Holding a word for a time and part of the whole picture.
15. How do we know it's from God/Act in faith?
16. Jesus is open to persuasion!
17. The Language God uses to communicate.
18. God communicates through our sensory organs.
19. God communicates primarily to the heart.
20. God offends our mind to change our heart.
21. Listening depends on your heart attitude.
22. Circumcision is the cure to a hard heart!
23. Listen to your heart
24. Eyes.
25. Lift up your eyes.
26. Make sure your vision is clear.
27. Ears/hearing the voice of the Lord.
28. Reach for higher levels.
29. How God communicates - impressions.
30. Seeing with the eyes of your heart.
31. Visions.
32. Open visions.
33. Trances.
34. Signs.
35. Dreams.
36. Conclusion.
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