Several years ago while conducting a tour to the Holy Lands; I had an opportunity of visiting Taba, Egypt for the first time. Taba is located just across the border from Israel at the farthest tip of the Red Sea. Many areas in the Middle East are dry, desolate places, but even I was not prepared for the scene that greeted me as we crossed the border. It seemed that even the words desolate, dry, and barren would not do the place justice. I could not see anything green for miles, nor were there any signs of life except where man had planted a few trees or shrubs to break the harshness of the landscape. We boarded our bus and drove across the desert toward our hotel. I remember looking around, seeing nothing but rock and sky. I searched for a few birds to indicate some form of life but could find none. Nothing seemed to live here. I thought as I surveyed the dry, bleak, austere scenery: “Whoever God assigned to create this part of his world needs to go back and take Creation 101 again, because they didn’t do a very good job here. Maybe they got started and the recess bell rang, and they never came back to add a bit of color or movement!” I do not think I have ever visited a more inhuman, forbidding, vista.
We checked into our hotel which I was pleased to discover was beautifully landscaped with a drip irrigation system, but just across the highway the dead rock of the mountains reminded me of my first impressions. I did not know that I would soon receive one of the greatest lessons I have learned while traveling the lands of the Bible.
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