Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
Exodus 14: 19-20
The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.
I believe there are no coincidences with God. Everything he does is for a reason; there is some meaning or significance behind it. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that what led the Israelites out of Egypt and protected them from the Egyptian army was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Why a pillar of cloud and fire? For that matter, why a pillar?
Pillars would become a part of the future of the Israelite nation. King Solomon would build the Temple of the Lord just as instructed by God. And there were 2 pillars on either side of the steps that lead up to the inner temple where the Holy Place was and the Holy of Holies where the ark of the covenant sat and where God’s presence shined. The pillars were named Boaz and Jachin which means in his strength and in his counsel. 1 Kings 7:21, 2 Chronicles 3:17
With God’s counsel, he leads us; he’s guiding us with each step. With God’s strength, he’s helping us stand firm and protecting us from our enemies. He fights for us with His strength. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did those very things. Exodus 14:19,20
Pillars are meant to make a statement. God is saying in both instances during the exodus and later with Solomon’s Temple that He is here for you and nothing can go against him. When I see pillars in architecture, it says to me, “this place is set-apart from other places,” “this place is special,” “this exudes a sense of strength.” A picture of the Lincoln Memorial comes to mind.
We don’t have pillars we can see but we are the temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God. And that the Spirit of God dwells in you? God’s Holy Spirit dwells within us. Let that sit and resonate… And it is for us to enter freely every day because Jesus made that possible. Our own pillars in our relationship with our Holy God are prayer and God’s Word. From both, we are reminded that we are to be in his strength and in his counsel. So, the questions to ask ourselves is this: “Are we willing to take the steps into the Sanctuary, passing between the pillars with prayer and God’s Word that tell us its in his strength and in his counsel? Will you say, a resounding, “Yes!”
If you are struggling to say, “Yes” every day, talk to God, discuss with close believers or with a Christian counselor. God wants to help us and he works in all ways, including through us.