John Tng (25
"Psalm 22 & the Transjordan Divide"
The most significant event for Israel in 1922 is described by J.R. Church in his book, "The Hidden Prophecies in the Psalms".
"In 1922, the British further abrogated their commitment to the Balfour Declaration and divided Palestine into two territories, making the Jordan River a boundary. Under the direction of Winston Churchill, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan was established."
Amazingly, Ps22 points to this event in 1922! To appreciate the hidden clues in this psalm, notice the key words -- "divided", "two", "Transjordan" and "boundary". Even without reading too closely, any Christians reading Ps22 could see it prophecied the Crucifixion of Christ. One of the 7 sayings of Christ on the Cross is recorded in the very first verse -- "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
What has the Crucifixion to do with the division of Palestine, east and west of the Jordan River? I want to suggest the hidden clue is "the Reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles to God through the Cross". I invite you to consider with me the following.
#1 JEWS & GENTILES. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:28 NIV) First, let us seek out the Jews and the Gentiles in Ps22.
1(A) JEWS. There are three explicit references to the Jews.
Psalm 22 NIV
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the praise of Israel.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
1(B) GENTILES. This part is not difficult to establish once you realise it was the Gentile Romans who crucified the LORD.
Psalm 22 NIV
16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.
20 Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs.
The words "dog" and "dogs" occur 5 times in the Psalms and twice in Ps22. I do not want to touch on any racially sensitive issue here but the fact is, in Scripture, dogs refer to the Gentiles. (Dogs are of course man's best friends and I too am Gentile by birth!). Jesus took the same view!
Matthew 15 NIV
A Gentile Shows Her Faith
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."
24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
25 The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
26 He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their DOGS."
27 "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the DOGS eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28 Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
#2 FOR HE HIMSELF IS OUR PEACE, WHO HAS MADE THE TWO ONE (Eph 2:14 NIV). In Ps22, we find the Jews there, we find the Gentiles there. It is also a psalm which prophecies the Crucifixion. Putting two and two together (which incidentally is 22!), it is easy to see He who is our Peace, has made the TWO ONE. The Psalmist has in fact peppered enough clues throughout this psalm to show the DIVISION process in reverse!
2(A) FAR BROUGHT NEAR. Ephesians 2 is very illuminating on the UNION, the COMING TOGETHER, of the Jews and the Gentiles, in the BODY of Christ.
Ephesians 2 NIV
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)-- 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
The Apostle Paul leaves us in no doubt what he was talking about. The Gentiles were FAR AWAY. Through the Cross, they can be made NEAR to God. Christ our peace, makes the TWO ONE. The concept of "far" and "near" is clearly present in Ps22.
Psalm 22 NIV
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?
11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is NEAR and there is no one to help.
19 But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
2(B) SALVATION. The reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles to God through the Cross is the GREAT SALVATION Paul talks about -- "how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?" (Heb 2:3 NIV) This idea is present throughout Ps22.
Psalm 22 NIV
1 "...Why are you so far from SAVING me,..."
4 "...they trusted and you DELIVERED them."
5 "They cried to you and were SAVED;..."
8 "He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD RESCUE him. Let him DELIVER him,..."
19 "But you, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me."
20 "DELIVER my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs."
21 "RESCUE me from the mouth of the lions; SAVE me from the horns of the wild oxen."
24 "...but has listened to his cry for help."
#3 THE CONCEPT OF SEPARATION & DIVISION. The partitioning of Palestine into TWO, east and west of Jordan River, was a process of dividing and separating. This process is abundantly illustrated in Ps22.
3(A) MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME? (v1) This must be the supreme example of separation! For a brief moment, even the Father hid His face from the Son! It must have been the darkest hour of the universe ever!
3(B) YET YOU BROUGHT ME OUT OF THE WOMB (v9). This is another example of separation. Life begets life. Just as an amoeba is split into two, the birth of a child is a separation of life from life.
3(C) THEY DIVIDE MY GARMENTS AMONG THEM (v18). The word "DIVIDE" is used explicitly in this verse. This concept is seen in Ephesians too, "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the BARRIER, the DIVIDING wall of hostility" (Eph 2:14 NIV)
#4 JEWS, GENTILES & THE CHURCH OF GOD (1 Cor 10:32). In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Gentile. Instead, we are the Church of God -- the result of Christ's bringing together of those far away and those near, so that there is no longer a dividing wall of hostility. The Church of God is visible in Ps22!
4(A) BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS. All Christians must be born again or we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
John 3 NIV
4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his MOTHER'S WOMB to be born!" 5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.' 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
Ps22 contains an interesting reference which could refer to the Virgin Birth or the Regeneration of the Spirit when a Christian is born again.
Psalm 22 NIV
9 Yet you brought me out of the WOMB ; you made me trust in you even at my MOTHER'S BREAST.
10 FROM BIRTH I was cast upon you; from my MOTHER'S WOMB you have been my God.
4(B) CRUCIFIXION. The Cross of Christ is the Redemptive Ministry of the Son for the Church of the Living God. Ps22 amply demonstrates that the New Covenant is hidden in the Old Covenant and the Old Covenant is fulfilled in the New Covenant.
4(C) JESUS OUR BROTHER. "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you." (Ps22:22 NIV) This verse was quoted by Paul in the book of Hebrews.
Hebrew 2 NIV
11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises."
4(D) ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE NATIONS WILL BOW DOWN BEFORE HIM (Ps22:27). This reference is very intimately linked to Abraham, the father of faith.
Galatian 3 NIV
6 Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." 7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." 9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
The Christians are children of Abraham -- "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal 3:29 NIV)
4(E) A PEOPLE YET UNBORN (Ps22:30). Surely at the time the Psalmist penned these words, the Church was yet to be born. The Apostle Paul referenced two interesting Old Testament Scriptures showing that the Church is a peculiar people. But first, Peter says -- "9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Pet 2 KJV)
Paul concurs with Peter by saying, we were once NOT a nation, or a nation with NO understanding. We DID NOT seek Jehovah. We were a people yet UNBORN.
Romans 10 NIV
19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, "I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding." 20 And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."
4(F) THE JORDAN RIVER DIVIDE. I find it fascinating that "Under the direction of Winston Churchill, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan was established in 1922." Notice that the Jordan River splits the Palestine vertically into two, right at the center. The Jews were given the land to the west of the Jordan River while the Arabs, i.e. the Gentiles, were given the east. The intriguing thing is that the Gentile portion is known as the Transjordan, i.e. beyond the Jordan. For Christians, our destiny is the Heavenly Jerusalem, the land beyond the Jordan River, while the destiny of the Jews is the Earthly Jerusalem, at least for the coming Millennium.
CONCLUSION. Ps22 points to the Transjordan Divide in 1922 in more ways than one.