Fire by Night: Finding God in the Pages of the Old Testament

Book, 2019, 192 pp
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What do we do with the Old Testament? How do we read words written in a world so different from ours, stories so ruthless and so filled with grace?

In Fire by Night, pastor Melissa Florer-Bixler invites readers to marvel at the Old Testament. Page after page, in stories and poems and prophecies, the Hebrew Scripture introduces us to a God who is unwieldy and uncontrollable, common and extraordinary, and who brings both life and death. Using stories from Scripture and from her ministry, Florer-Bixler braids together the text with the sometimes ordinary, sometimes radical grace of God. The same passages that confuse and horrify and baffle us can, if we are paying attention, lure us closer toward God. This God has travelled with people through cloud and fire, by day and by night, since the beginning of time.

The Old Testament is a perplexing book of profound grace, hope, and beauty. It’s a book of fire. To read the Old Testament is to draw close to God’s love, which continues to burn away our expectations and set us ablaze. This God has travelled with people through pillars of cloud and fire, by day and by night, since the days of the exodus.

Accompanying study guide available to download.

(11 sessions)

“Fire by Night encapsulates Melissa Florer-Bixler’s delight of Scripture, ancient literature, and God. By interweaving assiduous exegesis and personal storytelling, Florer-Bixler invites the reader into relationship with the text, with the voices and experiences of scholars and neighbors, with herself, and most importantly, with God. I found myself challenged as a theologian, inspired as a pastor, and in tears as a person of faith trying to make sense of it all. What makes Fire by Night such an important book is that it speaks to today’s issues without being prescriptive, but by beckoning each of us to take the risk of simply being God’s beloved.” —Theresa S. Thames, associate dean of religious life and the chapel, Princeton University

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