Posted by: Brad Beaman | January 25, 2014

Cloud by day, Fire by night

BCS camp fire

Our family has moved twice in the last sixty days. And now guess what! We are waiting to find out if we will stay where we are for the next few months or if we need to move to the next “encampment” in a few days. All this moving has made me refer to the Cloud by day, Fire by night of the Israelites in the wilderness.

Some years ago a software engineer from Israel who lived in a nearby apartment asked me if he could cut some branches from the trees in our yard. He needed them to make a booth on top of his apartment to remember the time Israel would follow the cloud by day, fire by night and live in temporary shelters. The Jewish people remember that history by celebrating the festival of booths each year.

By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. Exodus 13:21-22

Believers in Christ also should remember how Israel followed the cloud by day and the fire by night. We are told that it happened as an example for them for our instruction 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:11

This will not necessarily mean a physical move. Following the cloud by day, fire by night is about a step of faith not a physical move. As followers of Christ we need to follow the fire of the Holy Spirit. Be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). We Pilgrims on our journey in Christ need to be sure we do not miss the move of the Spirit. When the Spirit leads we need to move from the encampment of our comfort zone to the unfamiliar.

I wonder if we need to move a third time in sixty days? Our family lived in one place for fifteen years. But this is a different season for us. I hope we are ready to go or ready to stay. We need to be willing to follow the pillar of fire, the presence of God the leading of the Holy Spirit. All believers in Christ must be led by the Spirit.



  1. Great Post Brad!

  2. Good thoughts. Hmmm…Festival of Booths…that could make for a very inexpensive cluster meeting. We all go to Goa and build booths on the beach!

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