Understanding the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night (Exodus 13:21 KJV)

When Moses guided Israel out of Egypt, the Lord illuminated their path: a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Can you imagine the awe this sight must have inspired? But what did these pillars truly symbolize? Even more pressing, where is this pillar now?

God manifested His presence as a cloud and fire among the Israelites. Since He is invisible, God reveals Himself in visible ways. In the Old Testament, manifestations varied: as fire, a cloud, in human form, or even as an angel (Genesis 18:1-2, Exodus 24:9-10). Here’s the key: Though invisible, God makes His presence visible to His people. When the scripture says people saw the invisible God as in Exodus 24:9-10, it usually refers to His expressed visible manifestations.
Moreover, the pillar wasn’t merely symbolic; it was the actual presence of God. While the Ark of the Covenant symbolized God’s presence, the cloud—Shekinah—that rested upon it was the real deal. This wasn’t just any natural cloud but a supernatural cloud visible to everyone (Exodus 14:19).

In the New Testament, God’s presence, once observed by Jews from a distance, resides in believers. Accepting Jesus fills your ‘temple’ with the Shekinah cloud, just as in the Old Testament. That visible pillar was but a foreshadowing of the greater gifts that Christ brings. God’s presence now accompanies you around the clock, guiding your steps. Although we do not have the constant awe-factor of seeing a visible cloud, what is in the believer far exceeds what the Jews saw with their physical eyes—we have better things in Christ.

In Summary, the Old Testament’s pillar of cloud and fire now finds its home in the hearts of believers.


Reflect on the words of Exodus 12:21 above. How do they resonate with you?

Apply the Word

God accompanies you every moment, guiding your journey. Let this truth consistently permeate your thoughts.


Express your gratitude to the Lord for the constant comfort of His presence.

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