John Tng (25 Oct 1997)
"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".

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.

1(B) GENTILES. This part is not difficult to establish once you realise it was the Gentile Romans who crucified the LORD.

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!

#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.

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.

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.

#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.

Ps22 contains an interesting reference which could refer to the Virgin Birth or the Regeneration of the Spirit when a Christian is born again.

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.

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.

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.

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.