Once the Tabernacle was complete and the initial sacrifices made, the Spirit of God settled upon it as a cloud during the day and the appearance of fire at night. He made the Tabernacle His home. When the cloud or fire lifted off the Tabernacle, it signified that God was ready to move the camp; whether day or night, they had to be prepared.
I found this portion significant and comparable to our being the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. After completion, they made a home for him in the heart of their camp; He's in our hearts. He gave them the details, through Moses, on how He wanted it assembled; he made plans for us because of our faith in Jesus, and then Jesus built it. To seek God, Israel had to go to the priest, make offerings, and ask forgiveness; they had to go to Him; now, He resides in each of our hearts. He will move us at a moment's notice! You will feel Him stirring, like the cloud and fire moving within you, and have a burning desire to minister or unload what God has placed on your heart. You can't stop the words from coming out of your mouth, nor do you want to. That's one of the ways you know you have the Holy Spirit.
God gave the people of Israel significant clues to what to look for right in the Old Testament so they would know when the Messiah had come, but many, if not most, have chosen to ignore all of them. We are Spiritual Israel because of Jesus and have our homes worldwide! With all today's conflicts, we must remember who we are; we are Israel, and the Promised Land is where God has placed us. The pillar of cloud and the appearance of fire have diminished over that land and are now in our hearts.
And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely,the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning. Numbers 9:15